Indiana University dorm hit by wave of false fire alarms

Indiana University
(WISH file photo)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Authorities at Indiana University are working to find the culprit behind about 20 false fire alarms at night or in the early morning hours recently at a 500-student residence hall.

University spokesman Mark Land said whoever has caused the false alarms at Read Hall on the Bloomington campus could face criminal charges and school disciplinary measures.

“We’re taking this extremely seriously,” Land told The Herald-Times. “This is not something that is remotely in the realm of a prank.”

Officials suspect the alarms have been caused in the past two weeks by someone using a body spray to activate smoke detectors.

Besides interrupting sleep for the students, Bloomington Fire Department Sgt. Brandon Hudson said fire crews are responding as if there was an emergency, and the repeated alarms create the possibility that people won’t evacuate in future situations.

“What we don’t want to do is create a false sense of security,” he said.

Some students living in Read Hall say fatigue from the alarms have caused them to oversleep and miss classes, with others wearing sweats while they sleep in case they have to evacuate at 4 a.m.

Maddy Kanka, a freshman living in in the residence hall, called the situation “just dumb.”

“It’s messing with a lot of people’s academics,” she said. “I have anxiety. Getting awoken several times a night doesn’t help that.”

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