Manzanita Hall fire alarm goes off, occupants exit

Students and professors evacuated Manzanita Hall on Friday at about 1 p.m. when fire alarms started flashing white lights and advising people to exit the building.

Fire trucks immediately arrived to quell any fire that might have occurred within the building, which is located on the south side of campus near Sierra Quad.

There was no fire that triggered the fire alarms, confirmed Police Sgt. Jim Stotler, who was exiting the south side of Manzanita Hall, where the Cinema, Television and Arts Department is located.

No one else at the University Police Department could be reached in time for publication.

Students waiting outside of this section of Manzanita Hall were heard talking about having to use a fan for a while when re-entering the building to keep smoke from triggering the fire alarms.

Michael Poisson, a CTVA major, said the fire alarms were initially set off when students in the Television Sound Studio were filming a production called “Hell of a Roommate.”

Canned smoke was used in the production, which set off the fire alarms, Poisson said. Real smoke was not used so as to avoid setting off the alarms, but this still occurred, Poisson said.

Rose Diaz, a senior media management major, said she was reading on the second floor of Manzanita Hall when the alarms started flashing white lights and advising people to exit the building.

“It wasn’t scary,” said Diaz, even though it was the first time she was ever in a building in which fire alarms were triggered. “It didn’t seem dangerous. Nothing was happening.”

After she exited Manzanita Hall, Diaz said she saw a police officer enter a hall on the south side of the building, where a collection of movie and TV posters was exhibited on the walls.

A collection of movie and TV posters are located on the first floor of Manzanita Hall near the Cinema, Television and Arts Department, which is on the southeast side of the building.

The police officer then quickly started looking into a couple of classrooms before he left through the south exit of the building, Diaz said.

“I though it was nothing important, the police officer was just looking around,” Diaz said.

Junior sociology major Edgar Aldaba said he arrived at the building when the alarms went off, advising people to exit the building in question.

“I just saw a bunch of people coming out of Manzanita,” Aldaba said. “If it was something legit, you would think someone would be here by now.”

Diaz said, “I think something actually did happen inside. Maybe someone had an accident.”

“Manzanita Hall is a new 65,000 squ. foot building for the College of Arts, Media, and Communication,” the CSUN Web site shows.

“It houses first-rate film and television production studios, shared classrooms, two galleries, a screening room and a 120-seat lecture hall, plus administrative and faculty offices for the Department of Cinemas ‘ Television Arts, Journalism, and Communication Studies,” the Web site shows.

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