By Lianna Hubbard
The fire alarm blared in L Building on the afternoon of Jan. 18, forcing students, faculty and visitors to evacuate as the fire department arrived.
“We started smelling [smoke] in the orchestra room, and it was so pungent,” said Victor Delnore, a violin player for the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra. “We went next door to the choir room and asked if they smelled it. They said yes. That’s when we started getting everybody out.”
Witnesses say a strong, burning smell hung in the band room and surrounding hallway. Light smoke gathered around the top of the room.
Some students rushed inside to bring expensive instruments out of harm’s way.
Classes were stalled for an hour as fire fighters from the Fort Myers Fire Department assured the safety of the building.
Kelly O’Neil, an adjunct faculty for the music department, said that according to facilities, the smoke was caused by faulty light fixtures. Oil in old balusters smoked when the lights were turned on, but there were no flames.
The smell lingered in the band room for the rest of the day. Classes were cancelled.