Alarm Clock the Cause of HU Fire, Building Open Tuesday

The Humanities Building suffered severe water damage after a fire (started on the 2nd floor) was put out

The Humanities Building suffered severe water damage after a fire (started on the 2nd floor) was put out

At 12:30 a.m. last night, the fire alarm was activated in the Humanities (HU) building, to which the sprinklers system automatically reacted.  The alarm went through to the Security office on campus, which dispatched the fire department at 12:35 a.m. that there was a fire in the building, according to the Rockville Volunteer Fire Department’s report. Media relations specialist for Montgomery College, Marcus Rosano, says that the water damage to the first three floors of the building, caused by the sprinkler system, is the primary reason for the building being shut down Monday morning: “Floors zero [the basement floor], one, and two were affected by water.”


Rescue units from the Rockville Fire Department were the first on the scene and reported a small fire. Initially, the cause of the fire was unknown. However, it was later confirmed that the cause of the fire was a faulty alarm clock radio in Room 275. Rosano states, “The clock that you wake up to in the morning–that was the cause.” What exactly happened and how the clock created the fire is still unknown and is under investigation.


According to a spokeswoman for the county fire and rescue service, Beth Anne Nesselt, there were no injuries, but there is a cost due to the damage. “The damages were [approximately] $15,000 to the content and $1,000 to the structure. Our investigators will interview either the occupants or the [people] that were in there.” said Nesselt.

It was decided in a conference call on Monday afternoon that the Humanities building will open again on Tuesday, Oct. 8. All classes will continue as scheduled although classes that take place on the first floor will be relocated as these classrooms will be undergoing water clean up efforts. These changes will be posted on the classroom doors as well as via email alerts. Students who have classes in the HU building should inquire with their respective professors as to where the classes will be taking place.