When the Gong Rings
A Fire History of Charleston, Illinois

132.  FIRE LOG 1966

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EIU RELATIONS-- FALSE ALARMS!--DISASTER IN MATTOON


EIU FIRE DRILL

Charleston Fire Department occasionally had problems with false alarms at the dormitories on campus. In 1966, Captain Taylor turned things around and drilled the students on evacuating their dormitory, Lincoln Hall. The clipping states that women (174 of them) were evacuated from the hall by an aerosol klaxon when Lincoln Hall, women's resident dormitory on the campus of EIU, staged a fire drill. Mel Taylor, Captain of the Charleston Fire Department, was pleased with the 50 second time the women required to leave the building. "The drill was conducted in a very orderly manner and couldn't have been better," Taylor said. The aerosol "canned" horn was used to warn residents because the building, and neighboring Douglas Hall are without regular alarm systems due to construction on Stevenson Tower.

EIU PRESIDENT DOUDNA RESPONDS TO FALSE ALARM FIRE CALLS

 

In a letter to the editor in 1966, the EIU president stated, "It was thoughtful of you to run the fine editorial by Bill Kaczor (from the Eastern News) in a recent issue of the Daily Times. We have been embarrassed for years, as are officials in other universities, by occasional false fire alarms. The fact that these are not limited to university campuses in no way explains or ameliorates the situation. When one of the nursing homes caught fire recently, and real tragedy was averted by prompt action of the fire department, I could not help but think what might have happened had the fire truck been in some remote part of town on a false alarm call. I suppose that not one person in one or two hundred would yield to any temptation to turn in a false alarm, yet, if you have 500 to 600 men living in a hall, that percentage still gives two or three who might do it, and one who is so inclined is enough. I am certain that the overwhelming proportion of our students would take the mature and concerned attitude expressed in the editorial which you re-printed." Quincy Doudna, President.

 

 


SATURDAY FIRE- Buck Pearcy Home

 

January 22, 1966, a fire alarm came in for the Buck Pearcy home shortly after 8:30 A.M. The fire was called in quickly. Mr. and Mrs. Pearcy were away at the time the fire was reported. Firemen who battled the blaze, returned to the station at 11:00 A.M.