Ottawa Fire Department responds to false alarm at Algonquin College's Ottawa campus. Photo credit: Thomas Gordon

The first week of the Algonquin College’s summer semester ended eventfully on May 12, after a fire alarm was set off in T-building, during the late morning. The Ottawa Fire Department was quick to the scene and reported it as a false alarm.

The alarm’s cause is still unknown, but students had their own theories.

“Smoking, vaping – or even someone yanking the fire alarm with their bag,” theorized Enica Hopper, a student at the college’s Ottawa campus.

Algonquin security did not comment on the alarm’s cause,

Students had some difficulty while evacuating the building, with some unsure where to stand, and others were reportedly crowding a stairwell.

“People were tripping over each other trying to get out,” said Vivian Brown, a student at the school.

In the event of a fire, students are instructed to leave the building immediately, and only return when advised by fire services, according to Algonquin’s website

Students with disabilities are instructed to head for the nearest collection point, or safe exit, and wait for emergency services, according to the website.

After the initial confusion, some students took the opportunity to enjoy the summer weather.

“We really enjoyed being outside – even just doing our schoolwork while this was going on,” said, Bolina Diundik, a student at Algonquin College.