Sprinkler Burst in Westport Public Library Causes Brief Evacuation

The+fire+department+was+called+following+today%27s+evacuation+of+the+Westport+Public+Library%2C+forcing+students+and+non-students+alike+to+wait+outside.

Kaila Finn

The fire department was called following today's evacuation of the Westport Public Library, forcing students and non-students alike to wait outside.

Kaila Finn, Web A&E Editor

On Sat., Jan. 4 around 11 a.m., alarms in the Westport Public Library howled as students, employees, and patrons dashed out to evacuate the building.

Initially, it appeared as though the library was going to have to close for the remainder of the day, according to one of the library’s assistant directors, Bill Derry.  “There has been a sprinkler burst so the library is unsafe for patrons and will have to close for today,” he said at first.

Alex Suppan ‘16, expressing many library-goers’ confusions, said, “I was listening to music when I heard this weird buzzing. All of these people started coming, and we had no idea what was going on.”

However, while about 30 people waited outside, some without coats or any personal belongings, the fire department rapidly investigated the issue, and approximately 20 minutes after the evacuation, all were allowed back inside, and the library stayed open for its regular Saturday hours.

Other than the library’s usual importance to Westport citizens, it is particularly crucial for Staples students this weekend who hope to use it as a study space for midterms, with its quiet areas and plentiful resources. Many students who were there said they were frightened that they were no longer going to be able to use the library leading up to exams, prior to learning the cause for concern was only a minor issue.

“I was upset because I thought I could spend all day getting ahead of my midterm studying,” Helena Leskow ’16 said of the mayhem.’

Carolynn Van Arsdale ‘16 summed up what many students experienced. “It turned my non-stressful day into worrying more about midterms!” she said.

Aaron Hendel contributed to this report.