Austin, Tasker buildings evacuated last week

The Austin building was evacuated last Thursday morning due to steam leaking out of a mechanical room in the basement. (Spencer Bennett/The Daily Campus)

The Austin building was evacuated last Thursday morning due to steam leaking out of a mechanical room in the basement. (Spencer Bennett/The Daily Campus)

The University of Connecticut’s Philip E. Austin Building and Gordon W. Tasker Admissions Building were evacuated last week in two unrelated incidents.

The UConn Fire Department went to the Austin building at around 11:20 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 8, after a fire alarm was activated and people evacuated the building, UConn spokeswoman Stephanie Reitz said.

“Crews discovered a small steam leak in a mechanical room in the basement and determined the steam’s heat had activated the alarm,” Reitz said. “It was fixed, and everyone was able to return to the building.”

Reitz said on Friday, Nov. 9, fire crews went to the Tasker Building after getting a report of a strong gasoline smell in the admissions office.

“They found that landscaping crews had been working outside with backpack-style gasoline-fueled blowers, and that the smell had entered the building through vents,” Reitz said. “The fire crews used meters to check the air’s quality inside the building and determined it was safe, so people returned to their offices. The landscapers had already moved on by then.”

No injuries were reported in either case, Reitz said.


Gabriella DeBenedictis is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at gabriella.debenedictis@uconn.edu.