Firefighters, police officers, Public Safety, and ambulances appeared all over campus during a frigid February weekend, following the activation of fire alarms and other violations in multiple buildings.
The first fire alarm went off at 3:49 a.m. on Saturday, February 21, in Gregory Hall on South Campus. Confused students filed out of their warm dorm rooms into the cold outdoors, where temperatures were as low as 19°F. While Public Safety investigated the Gregory Hall incident and resident assistants gathered information about what happened, a second fire alarm went off just 15 minutes later in nearby Nollen Hall.
The next day, at 12:43 a.m. on Sunday, February 22, a liquor law violation brought Public Safety to Blackstone Hall, with the security officers’ cars visible on Middle Campus. Approximately an hour later, a second liquor law violation took place on North Campus.
Thirteen minutes later, a fire alarm went off in Nollen Hall on South Campus. More upset than scared, displaced Nollen residents looked for refuge from the wind in neighboring Moore Hall. At the time, there were at least four Lake Forest police cars, firefighters, and ambulances on the roads. As if this was not enough, a second fire alarm erupted at 2:32 a.m., this time at McClure Hall, also on South Campus.
While activation of fire alarms is not uncommon at the College because of routine fire drills, false alarms bring firefighters, ambulances, and officers from the Lake Forest Police Department to campus. The activation of multiple alarms in a short time period of time increases confusion for those who actually need an ambulance or a police officer.
According to Public Safety’s Daily Crime Log, the fire alarm activated in McClure led to the capture of the person who allegedly was “pranking” other students in the building. This unnamed individual was arrested for consumption of alcohol by a minor by the Lake Forest Police Department and will have to appear in an administrative hearing at City Hall in March.
While Lake Forest College is an active campus, the last time that Public Safety had to intervene in events with such frequency was Homecoming Weekend, September 19 and 20, as evidenced by Public Safety’s daily crime logs.
On Homecoming weekend, Public Safety had to intervene in 12 different events, some of which were due to a power outage. There was also an arrest for a drug law violation. While attempting to gather more information on the activation of multiple fire alarms on the second to last weekend of February, Public Safety would not disclose further information.