A student was hospitalized early Saturday morning after falling from a third-floor stairwell to the first floor of the Mountainview residence hall, university chief of safety and security John Twining said.
The student, whose identity must remain anonymous per university policy and civil law, fell down two flights of stairs around 1:40 a.m. while in the process of evacuating the building during a fire alarm, Twining said. A number of resident assistants immediately responded to the student, he said.
“He was unconscious when the RAs and the [Security] officers got to him,” Twining said. The campus security officers called an ambulance, he said.
“By the time the ambulance arrived, the student was conscious. He seemed to be alert. He was transported to the hospital because he had been unconscious for some time,” Twining said.
The student has since returned to the university, Twining said.
He also said that the circumstances that caused the fire alarm are unclear.
“We do not know if it was caused by someone making popcorn, or a dirty smoke detector, or if somebody actually pulled a fire alarm,” he said.
At the time of the accident, the floor around the stairwell was dry and the stairwell was unobstructed. The student was not pushed, Twining said.
The security department is investigating the cause of the fire alarm.
The penalty for a student convicted of pulling a fire alarm can vary from a verbal warning to expulsion from the university, depending upon the judicial history of the particular student.
Phone calls made to Erin Twomey, the residence hall director of Mountainview, were not returned by press time.