Smoke filled the Smith-Adams Hall kitchen after things went wrong for a sophomore making smoke bombs late Monday night.
Two fire trucks responded to a call around 11 p.m. and residents were forced to evacuate as thick smoke overflowed from the kitchen, said Smith-Adams resident Bailey Gaspard.
“I walked through the lobby thinking it was a false alarm and then I saw the smoke,” said Gaspard, sophomore biology major from Anoka, Minn. “It felt fake when the alarm went off. After an hour, I went back into the lobby to get my laptop and homework, and the smoke was still thick even then. It definitely made me cough.”
Sean Branchaw, sophomore finance and math major from Derwood, Md., was mixing potassium nitrate and sugar when it got out of his control and smoke began to fill the lobby. He is pledging Gamma Sigma Phi and claimed he was making the smoke bombs for club function, said Mat Solomon, sophomore computer science major from Austin.
But GSP president Blaine Smith, senior biology major from Keller, said the smoke bombs were not sanctioned by the club.
“He was apparently making them on his own time,” Smith said. “It wasn’t for club.”
Branchaw could not be reached for comment.
After smoke filled the kitchen and lobby, residents evacuated as fire alarms went off to their inconvenience, said Solomon.
“I was doing laundry and was putting my stuff in the dryer when the fire alarm went off,” Solomon said. “I finished putting my stuff in the dryer and went outside. Fire trucks came, and we were out there from about 30 to 45 minutes.”
Solomon said he was surprised at how pervasive the smoke was.
“I think more than one smoke bomb had to have accidentally gone off,” Solomon said. “It was incredible how much smoke filled the kitchen. It was all the way to the front door.”