More than 200 students evacuated from UTC after fire alarm


Jonathan Garza

Over 200 students evacuate the University Teaching Center after the activation of a fire alarm this morning. Officials said they smelt smoke on the third floor, but no threat was found.

Julia Brouillette

Just after 11 a.m. Wednesday morning, more than 200 students and faculty were evacuated from the University Teaching Center, commonly known as the UTC, after a third-floor fire alarm was activated.

According to UTPD officers on the scene, fire marshals smelled smoke on the third floor but ultimately did not find anything.

“[It] smelled like newspaper was burning or something,” UTPD officer Nathan Hish said.

Management senior lecturer John Doggett said he was about to teach a class when the building was evacuated.  

“They said this was not a practice drill,” Doggett said. “I have about 40 unhappy students out here, because we had a great case to talk about, and now we’re not able to do that … but safety is more important.”

Madelyn Mattern, a management information systems senior, said she wishes she had been better informed about the cause of the evacuation.

“We had just gotten started, so it didn’t really disrupt class that much, but I think everybody is a bit anxious because we weren’t told what’s going on,” Mattern said.

UTPD officers gave the all-clear and allowed students back into the building at 11:33 a.m.

The UTC has multiple study spaces and about 30 general purpose classrooms.

Clarification: This story has been updated from its original version. Management senior lecturer John Doggett teaches classes for the McCombs School of Business in the UTC building.