=46rom Truman State University,
Magruder Hall oven overheats
of Chemistry Maria Nagan walked out of her office in Magruder Hall to
fill up her water bottle and ended up hunting down a smoke- filled
laboratory Saturday morning.
"We got a
call of an active fire alarm at Magruder Hall at 10:31 a.m.," Kirksville
Fire Chief Randy Behrens said. "We arrived at 10:36 a.m. and had
everything under control by 11:40 a.m., then left the scene at 12:35
p.m. It was just smoke, no actual flames."
said she initially smelled the smoke outside of the third floor
elevator. Upon inspection of the elevator and the closet next to it, she
found that the smoke was coming from a vent in the ceiling.
followed the vent to Dr. [Mark] Campbell's lab," Nagan said. "When I got
there, the windows of the lab were all smoky. I couldn't really see
anything. Then I checked the handle and it was locked, and I knocked
really loud and tried to yell in to make sure no one was in
Once Nagan had determined no one was in the lab, she
headed back to call 911, she said. On her way back, the smoke alarms
went off, everyone evacuated Magruder Hall, and she called to inform
Mark Campbell, professor of Agricultural Science, about his
"I got a phone call and I came, and there were a bunch
of fire trucks [at Magruder Hall]," Campbell said. "There was really no
blaze - just a lot of smoke. The oven overheated and what they think
happened is that the thermostat went out so it started heating out of
control but there's a safety mechanism - a cut off switch [so] that if
that happens it shuts the whole thing down - and that did not
After some research, Campbell found that a similar
incident had happened at Oregon State in 2005. The next step for
Campbell is to call the company that manufactured the ovens and find out
whether they have had trouble with overheating, he said.
said the samples in the oven were purified starch samples and were
ruined in the overheating along with the oven.
is shot," Campbell said. "It's out at the University Farm. I haven't
thrown it out. I want to hang onto it until everyone gives me [the]