Communication Center elevator catches fire


Rebecca Howeth

A firefighter exits the CMB while responding to the fire alarm that went off in the building Thursday evening. The alarm was said to have been set off after a motor in an elevator caught on fire.

Alexa Ura

The Austin Fire Department responded to a fire alarm in Building B of the Jesse H. Jones Communication Center Thursday evening after smoke was reported from the building.

The alarm was set off after the motor of an elevator caught on fire, said UT Police Department Sgt. Wayne Coffey. No injuries were reported and the building was cleared within the hour.

“There was more smoke than fire,” he said.

The elevators in the building were turned off while UTPD waited for maintenance, Coffey said. Five fire trucks and multiple EMS units were on standby and sections of the streets surrounding the building were closed off, including Whitis Avenue and lanes on Guadalupe Street and Dean Keeton. Multiple fire department units entered the building to investigate the reported fire.

The alarm went off during the dedication of the College of Communication Plaza to legendary journalist and former Longhorn Walter Cronkite, but did not interrupt the ceremony.