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UMM science building evacuated, campus without power for part of first day of classes

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UPDATE, 8:25 p.m.: According to the University of Minnesota, Morris Facebook page, power has been restored to the campus, except for the Science building, which remains closed this evening. All classes will resume and office open on their normal schedule Thursday.

The first day of class at the University of Minnesota, Morris was interrupted this afternoon when a downstairs room of the Science and Math building filled with smoke.

Morris Fire Department Captain Peter Hentges said the fire department was called after a room on the first floor filled with smoke. As of about 3 p.m. on Monday the cause was unknown, but Hentges said there was not a fire in the building.

Lowell Rasmussen, UMM vice chancellor facilities and finance, said the problem occurred in a high voltage power room in the building. The room is secure and not occupied.

Rasmussen said the campus was changing the way the campus is powered today, and speculated something in that process may have gone wrong.

As of 3:20 p.m., power was still out in the building, students and staff were not being allowed in, and the cause of the fire remained unknown.

More details will be added to this story when they are available.

Kim Ukura

Kim Ukura began working at the Farmington/Rosemount Independent Town Pages in August of 2016. Previously, she served as the editor of the Morris Sun Tribune for five years. She graduated from the University of Minnesota, Morris in 2008 with degrees in English and journalism. She earned a master's degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2010. Prior to returning to Morris to work at the Sun Tribune, she worked in trade publishing. She has been recognized by the Minnesota Newspaper Association for human interest, multimedia, business and public affairs reporting. 

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