Fire in TLS lab shuts down classes for the day

The UConn Fire Department responded to a fire in a basement laboratory of the Torrely Life Sciences building. (Zhelun Lang/The Daily Campus)

Just after 2 p.m. today, the UConn Fire Department responded to a call this afternoon for a fire in a basement laboratory of the Torrey Life Science Building (TLS). Everyone was evacuated and all classes for the remainder of the day were cancelled according to a UConnALERT sent at 2:59 p.m.

“The fire is out at Torrey and there were no injuries,” Spokesperson Stephanie Reitz said. “We did call in mutual aid from Tolland and the cause has not yet been determined.”

“The fire alarm went off around 2:15-2:20 or so,” seventh-semester Ecology and Evolutionary Biology major Kwasi Wrensford said. “There was a fire on the ground floor in one of the laboratories. My class was on the first floor in one of the laboratories…as the alarm went off we caught a whiff of the smoke.”

Fifth-semester molecular and cell biology major Madie Adams was also in the building at the time of the incident.

A broken window with smoke coming out at TLS building around 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016. (Courtesy/Madie James)

“[The] firemen started arriving and told us it was an actual fire and we moved away and I went up to the physics building so I could look down and the whole ground floor is filled with smoke,” Adams said. “It looks like the fire started in the lab on the very right side of the ground floor if you are looking at TLS from the North.”

Adams said that students were blocked from re-enetering the building.

“They have blocked the whole building off and cops are stationed around the building so people can't get close,” Adams said. “I almost left all my stuff inside because I honestly thought it was going to be a usual five minute false alarm. But the grad student I work for told me not to just in case and he was very right, clearly.”

Although classes were cancelled in TLS for the rest of the day, this did not impact classes anywhere else on campus, Reitz said.

Elizabeth Charash is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at

Julia Werth contributed reporting. She is editor-in-chief and can be reached at