Middlesex County News

Smoldering AC Unit Prompts Evacuation at Rutgers

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Credits: H.I. Jones/Facebook
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NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — Just when you need the air-conditioner to kick into high gear.

The New Brunswick Fire Department received a call at 3:11 p.m. yesterday, June 27, for a smoldering air-conditioning and heating unit at 50 Labor Center Way, according to the city. The building serves as Rutgers University’s Labor Education Center and houses part of the School of Management and Labor Relations, according to the college’s website.

The air-conditioning and heating unit had begun to smolder, which forced it to shut off and activate a fire alarm, a Rutgers spokesperson, Neal Buccino, told TAPinto New Brunswick.

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That caused roughly 60 people to evacuate the building, he said.

Firefighters then arrived on scene at 3:15 p.m., four minutes after the alarm, and found that the machine “was giving a smoldering odor, suggesting it had burned or shorted out,” city spokesperson Jennifer Bradshaw told TAPinto New Brunswick.

Responders disconnected the device from its power source and cleared the scene at 3:55 p.m., she said. The evacuees returned to the building “shortly after” the fire department took off, Buccino noted.

“The facility has been fully operational since that time,” he said.

No injuries were reported as a result of the incident, sources said.

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UPDATE: Payton has been located.

NEW BRUNSWICK - Police today issued a plea for the public’s help in finding a missing 13-year-old girl.

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Tomesell is described as 5-feet, 9-inches tall, weighing about 120 pounds.

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