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October 26, 2009 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-10-26

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8A - Monday, October 26, 2009

"
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

8A - Monday, October 26, 2009 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

0

FIRE
From Page 1A
Despite these worries, it was
quite some time before the build-
ing was completely evacuated.
Many residents remained inside
the building and watched the
flames from their rooms before
they were forced to leave.
"A lot of people were leaving
because of the smoke," Engineer-
ing sophomore Billy Mayer said.
"But if people didn't leave because
of the smoke, they' didn't leave
because of the fire alarm."
Mayer, who lives on the elev-
enth floor of University Towers,
did not evacuate until almost mid-
night, when police officers arrived
and told him he had to leave the
building.
LSA sophomore Gabe VanLoo-
zen said he remained in his apart-
ment until the fire alarm went
off, almost an hour after he first
smelled smoke.
"We had a great view from
my apartment, it was pretty cool

The old Pinball Pete's building was ravaged by a fire late Saturday night. This photo, taken Sunday, shows the darate.

looking," VanLoozen said. "The
alarm went off and it got really
noisy so we decided we should get
out, but we were watching it for
about an hour before the alarm
went off."
University spokeswoman Kelly
Cunningham said approximately
600 students from University
Towers were temporarily dis-
placed because of the fire. She said
students were allowed back into
the building around 2 a.m.
But many students reported
that they weren't notified when
the building was reopened.
"I had a friend check the door.
close to 1:00 a.m. but it was still
closed," VanLoozen said. "I
checked it myself around 1:30 a.m.
and it was open so I went back
in."
According to VanLoozen,
the only people in the building
after the fire besides the return-
ing residents were inspectors
making sure the air quality was
safe.
After several attempts to speak
with the management of Universi-
ty Towers yesterday, the Daily was
told the manager was not working
and was unreachable.
Cunningham said the extent
of the damage was limited to six
apartments in the building.
Undergraduate Program Coor-
dinator Cheryl Erdmann sent an
e-mail to Communications Studies
majors Sunday night, informing
them of damage to the Commu-
nications Studies offices located
in the same building as University
Towers.
"Ourdoffices have sustained
minor damage from smoke and
water and a broken front glass
door pane," Erdmann wrote in the
e-mail. "We do not have computer
or telephone access in the depart-
ment atthis time."
"We are attempting to resolve
these issues as quickly as pos-
sible," she added.
Dziubinski told the Daily
that investigation had begun
into the cause of the fire as of
2 a.m. Sunday morning. But he
said he was unable to comment
on the investigation because it
is ongoing.
However, Battalion Chief Rob-
ert Voteo said yesterday that the
owner of Pinball Pete's mentioned
an issue of trespassing.
"The building owner said that
it has been a continuous problem

since it's been vacant," Voteo said.
Department of Public Safety
spokeswoman Diane Brown told
the Daily around 2 a.m. Sunday
morning that she was not aware
of anyone receivingmedical atten-
tion.
Within minutes of the first
signs of smoke emitting from
the house, students began to
pack into the street to watch the
flames.
Even though police officers had
attempted to blockade the side-
walk on both the Church Street
and South Forest Avenue sides,
the crowds outside remained and
onlookers were able to make their
ways to the scene through a pas-
sageway, called the South Uni-
versity Galleria Shopping Center,
between buildings across the
street.
While most University students
never got the chance to frequent
the former location of Pinball
Pete's, residents who lived in Ann
Arbor during the arcade's prime
were visibly upset at the scene of
the fire.
Marni Glovinsky, lifetime Ann
Arbor resident, watched the infer-
no from across the street, tears
streaming down her face.
Glovinsky said she spent nearly
everyday when she was 14 years
old at Pinball Pete's.
"It's like watching your whole
childhood burn down," she said.
While the fire burned on
the west side of South Univer-
sity Avenue, the east side of the
street remained a bustling night
scene.
Both of the bars on the block
stayedopen throughout the entire
sequence of events and patrons
lined up outside as if it was any
other fall Saturday night.
Natalie Putman, a waitress and
bartender at The Brown Jug, said
the bar was not affected by the
commotion outside.
"It wasn't really an issue," she
said. "A lot of people were just
running up to the front (of the res-
taurant) to watch."
Momo Tea, located directly
next door to the burning build-
ing, was completely empty in the
midst of the fire, but the lights
remained on and the "open" sign
illuminated.
Calls to Momo Tea throughout
Sunday afternoon were unan-
swered and the store was locked
and dark early Sunday evening.

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