Smoke in Thomas Cooper Library forces studying students to evacuate

Columbia firefighters respond (Source: Furman Lovett)
Columbia firefighters respond (Source: Furman Lovett)
USC's Thomas Cooper Library (Source: USC)
USC's Thomas Cooper Library (Source: USC)

By Logan Smith - bio | email

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A near fire at the University of South Carolina's Thomas Cooper Library forced officials to evacuate the building Wednesday night, according to university officials.

Columbia Fire Chief Jenkins said a couple of batteries in a computer in the basement malfunctioned around 9:30pm, which caused smoke but no actual flames.

Jenkins said the smoke made its way into the building's ventilation system, sending a light amount of smoke to other parts of the library."It smelled like some burning chemical," said one student who was inside the library when the fire started.

USC spokeswoman Margaret Lamb said there was no major damage and no injuries were reported, but the building was evacuated while firefighters responded.

The smoke was cleared from the building by 10:30pm, and Jenkins said people would be allowed back in soon.

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