Smoke-filled library halts studying

Lights flashed and a loud sound soon followed each blink. On Wednesday, Oct. 27 right about 6 p.m. the Castleton library fire alarms went off. Some students slowly packed up there backpacks, walked outside, sat on the benches, and waited to hear the news. But others took this situation more seriously and scurried out of the library, leaving all their belongings wherever they were last.”On entering the building there was heavy smoke coming from the first floor door that led to the basement,” said Castleton firefighter Ian Hoyt when questioned.

Approximately 10 members of the Castleton Fire Department responded to the call.

Fire officials said the basement’s circulating pump burned out, sending smoke seeping up to the first floor. They used a thermal imagining camera to check the pump’s temperature, which happened to be 1,500 degrees.

“The smoke had to be vented up to the first floor, then out through the main doors using vent fans,” said Hoyt.

Nothing was damaged in the library, but students started buzzing when it was announced that it wouldn’t be open for a while. Students left with unfinished homework, projects and studying, putting a halt on their night.

An e-mail was sent out by librarian Sandy Duling about 50 minutes after the evacuation stating that the library wouldn’t be open till 8 the next morning. Some students complained that it was making their assignments almost impossible to complete.

“I was in the library for six hours, gone to dinner for 20 minutes, came back and there were fire trucks, a cop car, and public safety … I was pissed,” said Andre Coutu.

Coutu had a paper due the next day, and without the library, which held the reference books he needed, he resorted to online sources and hoped it wouldn’t affect his grade. He ended up in his room trying to do his paper until 3 a.m.

“This suite is a living hell to do homework in,” said Coutu.

For other students, the library closing just resulted in relocating their studying spot and taking extra time accomplish their work.

“I had to do my homework at the Campus Center and it took me forever because it’s not as conducive of an environment for studying,” said Jeremy Benoit.

Benoit said he was “kinda bummed” when he heard about the library being closed through Facebook.

“I never thought I would be happy to see the library open, but the next morning was like a gift,” laughed Benoit.

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