Bell Hall temporarily closed after small fire, class schedule affected

Bell Hall closed Wednesday, Feb. 10, after an equipment fire occurred on the first floor near Health Services.

At approximately 11:18 a.m. officer Bobby Hunter responded to the scene after the fire alarm went off.

The fire started after an air compressor in the mechanical room shorted on the first floor, according to Kevin Burchett, facilities associate.

According to the Tech police report, “Burchett was able to put the fire out with a 10 lb. ABC fire extinguisher.”

Health Services and Bell Hall both closed for the remainder of the day due to smoke and the smell of burnt plastic and electrical wiring. Because the mechanical room is near the elevator shaft, the smell spread to both the second and third floors of Bell Hall; however, the auditorium was not affected and remained open throughout the day.

The Cookeville Fire Department responded to the scene at 11:30 a.m. They used electric fans in order to clear the smoke and odor from the building, according to the Tech police report.

James Cobb, director of environmental health and safety, said only minimal damage was caused by the fire.

Will Walker, nursing student, said, “We were scheduled to have class until 2, and our first exam was to follow. Being in nursing school is already extremely busy with clinical, lecture and exams every week, let alone trying to reschedule an exam due to a fire.”

Health services as well as classes resumed as normal the following day.