Smoke in Campus Apartments

Washer machine leaves laundry room filled with smoke 

A fire truck arriving at the Campus Apartments around 10 pm.

A mechanical problem with a washing machine in the Campus Apartments led to the building being fully evacuated Wednesday, Sept. 14. At around 9:30 P.M. the fire alarm in the building went off, and the Ripon Area Fire District was called to the building. 

Fire alarms went off in the campus apartments building, sending emergency calls to the Ripon Area Fire District. A resident of the apartments went to check on her clothes that were in a washing machine on the first floor when she noticed the room was filled with dark smoke. 

Students living in the Campus Apartments waited outside for more than a half hour as firefighters searched the building and got the situation under control.

Fire officials did not know what exactly caused the fire at the time, however, they traced the smoke back to a singular washing machine. According to fire officials, no one was injured. The resident whose clothes were in the washing machine at the time has reported to the College Days that her clothes were not damaged.

Director of Resident Life Mark Nickalus has since said that “an overloaded washing machine was the root of the problem. Too many clothing in the machine taxed the motor and belt, which led to the belt smoking.”

Following the incident, Nickalus said, “The machine is currently operating after maintenance replaced the belt and gave it a once-over.” 

He also mentioned that he is  “currently coordinating with Maintenance to see if we can add a second washer and/or dryer to the units to relieve some of the strain on the existing ones.”