Popcorn cause of alarm in Henderson

Daniel Wiggs

An alarm postponed the start of classes in Henderson as smoke rolled out of the psychology department Tuesday, Oct. 31.

The amount of smoke coming off of burnt popcorn was the reason for the alarm to buzz at 11 a.m., said Alan Whitford, sergeant for the university police department.

“Often people set the timer on their microwave, walk away and forget about it,” said Whitford. “It’s very common.”

That is exactly what happened, said Bonnie Paine, secretary for the psychology department. Paine thought it best not to reveal the person responsible for causing the alarm, because it might tarnish her reputation as a gourmet cook.

“In her defense, you never need to microwave popcorn in order to cook a gourmet meal,” said Paine. “To her credit, the Washburn police did say that it was the thickest smoke they’ve ever seen from burnt popcorn.”

The smoke alarm also effected classes that were just about to begin. C.J. Crawford, president for the university scheduling office, said 20 classes were scheduled at the time of the alarm. A smoke alarm kept approximately 610 students and faculty outside in the cold for half an hour, ruining any professor’s lesson plan.

Andrea Chancey, senior majoring in political science, was scheduled to take a test in her managerial accounting class but now has to have it hang over her head for a couple of more days.

“I have to take it on Thursday now,” said Chancey. “So I’m not too excited about having it cancelled.”