UPDATED: Steam pipe in Douglas Keen caused early morning evacuation


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Douglas Keen Hall, formerly an all male residence hall, is now a coed residence hall due to an increased demand for female student housing. Jake Pope/HERALD

Michael Crimmins, Administration Reporter

Editor’s Note: The story was updated with further information at 11:30 a.m. on Jan. 19. 

Residents of Douglas Keen Hall, the residence hall near The Den and Pearce Ford Tower, were awoken to the sounds of fire alarms, during the early morning of approximately 3:30 am on Jan. 19. 

The fire alarm was initially thought to have been caused by a steam pipe burst in an unoccupied maintenance area, according to Jace Lux, the university’s spokesperson, but was later determined to be caused when “a safety valve on the steam pipe activated, releasing enough steam to activate the temperature-sensor sprinkler head.”

Students were evacuated to the surrounding areas and encouraged to go in small groups to gather what they needed, according to Lux.

“When the sprinkler system deploys, the building must remain unoccupied until the system can be restored to ensure resident safety,” Lux said. “Residents were encouraged to go in lobbies of other buildings on campus while the repairs were completed.”

The warmer than usual weather is thought to have contributed to the activation, Lux said. 

Housing & Residence Life, the night shift maintenance technician, Bowling Green Fire Department, Facilities and the university fire marshal responded to the scene.

There is no damage to the building, and no injuries were reported.

The university fire marshall allowed students to return to the residence hall at approximately 5:30 a.m.

“No students were permanently displaced from their rooms,” Lux said.

Administration reporter Michael Crimmins can be reached at [email protected].