Alleged cooking malfunction causes Friday afternoon fire at Presby Hall


Brian Bauer

Champaign firefighters look over the situation at Presby Hall’s parking garage after a cooking fire started Friday.

By Daily Illini Staff Report

At around 3 p.m. on Friday, firefighters were called to Presby Hall after an automatic fire alarm went off. With smoke exiting the parking garage, firefighters sprayed water on the building in conjunction with the sprinkler system going off.

The fire appeared to be caused by a malfunction with a cooking unit, said Roger Cruz, captain of the Champaign Fire department.

Several students claim that brisket grilled in the garage sparked the malfunction. Because of the enclosed space, subsequent smoke led to the fire. That speculation, however, has not been confirmed by the authorities.

Other students speculate a gas leak as the source. They claimed to see gas when entering the parking garage, where they too saw the cooking unit on fire.

Fire-related emergencies are not new to Presby Hall.

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    Hannah Thompson, freshman in Engineering, said the fire alarm has gone off almost weekly at Presby. She claims this is the eleventh time that has happened this year.

    “It’s gotten really inconvenient but it’s okay,” said Thompson. “It’s something exciting every week.”

    The quick response time to these types of emergencies reassures her.

    “I suppose it’s good that the fire alarms are so sensitive and the fire trucks are always here relatively quickly,” said Thompson.

    “Thankfully no one’s hurt,” said Luke Peterson, freshman in DGS.

    Madeleine Hubbard and Jessica Berbey contributed to this report. 

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