On the evening of Jan. 24 at 9:30 p.m., ACU Police Department received a call from a library staff member in regard to a foul odor inside the library facilities, ACUPD Chief Jimmy Ellison said.
The call was for assistance contacting an on-call facilities management personnel, as the odor was initially believed to be caused by plumbing issues such as sewage breakage or backup.
An ACUPD officer and facilities management personnel responded quickly to the call at the library. Upon investigation, there were no drainage or sewage issues. After following their noses, so to speak, it was determined that the incredibly putrid odor was coming from a microwave oven, located inside the library’s common area near Starbucks, that had been used to heat up a rancid meat product, Ellison said.
The microwave had been used by a non-ACU local neighborhood resident who frequents the facilities. There was no violation of law in the use. However, the magnified odor caused a severe problem that almost made the library uninhabitable, Ellison said.
Ellison will be meeting with library and ACU representatives to determine whether or not the local resident will be allowed to continue use of the library facilities.
The resident is not being charged nor being held responsible for the microwave as there was no criminal activity or negligence on their part.
It is common for ACUPD to receive calls on the weekends and after hours from ACU personnel that are in need of help contacting an after hours facilities person. For police departments in general, especially on a campus, it is not unusual to get “strange” calls such as this incident.
The officer who responded Sunday night, who has over 25 years of experience, reported that it was the worst odor they had ever experienced, including decomposing bodies in autopsies, Ellison said.
The library facilities were eventually aired out and all returned to normal.