Friday fire, power outage unrelated

Heather Mangan

Heather Mangan

Friday’s emergency power shutdown and the Caldwell Hall fire were unrelated, officials said Monday.

Campus power was shut down to fix two substation high voltage insulators, said Dean Kattleman, Physical Plant director. Kattleman said they noticed a power spike Friday afternoon and the harsh winter weather forced them to fix the problem immediately.

“With the high winds, it could have caused the lines to break and caused significant damage to the substation,” he said.

Assistant Dean Doug Wermedal said it wasn’t a major inconvenience because most students had gone home for the weekend or were off campus.

“It wasn’t a significant disruption for anybody,” Wermedal said.

However, the power shut down did cause the dining services to be closed. To make up for that, a Power Outage Picnic was held Tuesday from 5 to 7 p.m. in Medary Commons and Larson North for on-campus residents.

Not long after the power came back on, a small fire started at the construction site of the Caldwell residence hall. Wermedal said the fire was caused when the wind blew a piece of plastic sheeting onto a heater. The fire occurred on the outside of the structure and didn’t damage the building.