Long Standing Electrical Problems At Flooded University Hall

Becky Cann
Becky Cann

MANOA (KHNL) - Clean-up continues at the University of Hawaii's Edmonson Hall. A fire over the weekend burst a pipe, causing serious flooding.

And because of all that water, classes have been moved out of Edmondson Hall for now.

Fire investigators point to an electrical outlet as the the likely cause and some professors say they have complained about electric problems at the aging building.

A contractor brought in huge fans and a vent system to blow hot air throughout the 3 flooded floors.

They are trying to dry out the moisture before mold sets in.

Saturday night, the fire broke out in office 362. The heat melted a pipe and water seeped down to the first floor. Firefighters used shop vacs and squeegees to mop up.

Investigators believe an electrical outlet may be to blame and some professors say they aren't surprised.

Professor Becky Cann explains, "There are electrical problems, plumbing problem a series of problems that plagued scientists and students who work in this building."

Some express frustration with the sub-standard electricity in the building and lack of response.

"People have known about it and simply can't seem to get the attention of the administrators that you can't teach modern biology in a facility that simply can't take the sorts of equipment scientist have now."

UH officials say there are plans to upgrade the electric system.

Professor Becky Cann is married to Professor Leonard Freed. The fire started in his office.

Three years ago she lost most everything in a big flood on campus. "After the flood on Halloween 2004, my lab was destroyed, my office flooded. I also managed to preserve a number books and research materials."

She had five bookcases in room 362

Professor Leonard Freed is saddened, "My wife lost the majority of her books stored for safety in the back of my office."