Media Contact: Mark Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
At around 3:15 pm, Monday, January 16, 2012, firefighters were alerted to smoke in a educational building on the campus of the University of Maryland in College Park. Fire/EMS units arrived at the JM Patterson Building on Regents Driver and found a working fire in a second floor lab involving electrical components with possible extension to an upper floor.
As a precaution the Department's Hazardous Materials Team was alerted to the incident due to the potential involvement of stored chemicals. No chemicals or hazardous materials were found to be involved with this fire.
With today being a Holiday for the observance of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day and during winter session there were a limited number of people in the building and they all evacuated safely.
The sprinkler system activated and held the fire in check until firefighters arrived and completed the extinguishment. Firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the remaining fire which involved electrical equipment that powers a system that maintains an appropriate atmosphere inside the lab.
There were no injuries. Firefighters remained on the scene ventilating the building of smoke and overhauling the effected area. Damage to the lab is considerable, however, an estimated loss figure is still being tabulated. The scene has been turned over to Environmental Safety and Fire Marshal's office for the University of Maryland for follow-up.