Smoke forced the evacuation of a UTC hall and members of the Chattanooga Fire Department came in to investigate.
The incident happened Thursday afternoon at Brock Hall.
Students reported the smell of smoke for about ten minutes before the fire alarm tripped off. Five Chattanooga Fire Units responded along with UTC Police.
“We were probably about 30 minutes into class, and I started smelling smoke, so I raised my hand and asked if anyone else smelled it,” says Emma Culp, one of the evacuated students. “As soon as our teacher walked back from the window, the fire alarm went off… they came over the intercom and said… it basically wasn’t a drill and that there was a fire. Everybody evacuated… we were all running down the stairs. It was kind of unorganized chaos; we were all just stampeding down the stairs, and then we had firefighters and police officers there to tell us to stay away from the building. We didn’t go back in… everybody just dispersed after that.”
Investigators say a smoldering pile of mulch outside Brock was the source of the smoke. The mulch was pulled in through the building’s ventilation system. Firefighters doused the fire and the building was clear to re-enter.