MU's Engineering Building West evacuated after elevator fire

Sunday, July 21, 2013 | 5:44 p.m. CDT; updated 5:51 p.m. CDT, Sunday, July 21, 2013
Cpt. Adam Sapp, left, and firefighter Justin Berck of the Columbia Fire Department investigate a burning smell and smoke in the Electrical Engineering Laboratories on Sunday in Engineering Building West at MU. The source was determined to be burning hydraulic fluid in one of the building's elevators.

COLUMBIA — A burnt rubber and oil smell filled the air on the western edge of MU on Sunday after the hydraulic fluid in an elevator overheated and caught fire in the Engineering Building West on Sixth Street.

Five Columbia Fire Department units were sent to the scene in response about 4:30 p.m. and saw white smoke emptying onto Fifth Street from the rear of the building.

Marty Walker, the director of administrative services in the College of Engineering, said a few parts needed to be replaced in the elevator but it is structurally intact.

Computer science student Kristofferson Calmer said he was working in a lab on the second floor when he smelled smoke and was told to evacuate the building.

Division Chief Marc Wright said the situation was quickly under control and did not pose a threat to passersby.

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