‘Urinetown’ Evacuated After Fire at Poulton Hall

ANDREW WALLENDER/THE HOYA Firefighters arrived on scene at Poulton Hall after a fire broke out at the building. They cordoned off the area around the hall.

ANDREW WALLENDER/THE HOYA
Firefighters arrived on scene at Poulton Hall after a fire broke out at the building. They cordoned off the area around the hall.

An electrical fire in the room next to the Mask and Bauble stage caused an evacuation of Poulton Hall Friday night around 10 p.m.

According to Vice President for Planning and Facilities Management Robin Morey, the fire was caused by a small water leak in a sink with an instant hot water dispenser.

“D.C. Fire and Rescue responded after our mechanic pulled the firm alarm,” Morey wrote in an email to The Hoya. “They rendered the scene safe. There was minimal damage.”

The Mask and Bauble production of “Urinetown” was halted in the middle of the second act, as everyone involved in the production and all audience members in the full house were ordered to evacuate.

At least six fire engines arrived on the scene, along with one battalion chief car. The firefighters cordoned off the area surrounding the building, which is located on the corner of 37th and P Streets.

According to Ben Card (COL ’17), who was in the audience of the production, there was a “smell of smoke” in the air.

Mask and Bauble will perform a Sunday matinee of “Urinetown,” which was originally scheduled to have its last show on Saturday.

“You guys have all paid for your tickets, you will be able to come for free to that performance. If you are not able to come, we would refund your tickets for tonight,” Urinetown producer Emily Grau (COL ’16) said.

No one was injured in the fire.

Executive Producer Caitlin Dutkiewicz (COL ’15) was not on site during the incident but immediately ran over to Poulton Hall when she heard about the fire. Dutkiewicz said that Mask and Bauble has numerous fire plans in place that helped the evacuation of the theater go smoothly.

“I’ve never had to deal with this in my time here, but I just talked to a former executive director of Mask and Bauble and it happened to them five years ago, so it’s happened before,” Dutkiewicz said. “I think given that everyone is out here and safe and happy, I think it’s all we can ask for.”

This article has been updated. 

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