Balliol students were evacuated from the library and the college’s front quad was sealed off after four fire engines were called to Broad Street.
The incident occurred this morning outside Balliol’s underground IT room on the front quad facing Broad Street, resulting in a power cut across the college for several hours and the temporary closure of the college library and front entrance.
Firefighters on hand monitored basement windows to ensure smoke did not drift into Broad Street and gave the all clear shortly after they arrived, restoring access to the college and library and ending an afternoon of diverting procrastination for those revising for Finals. Four fire engines is the standard response for reports of fire in historical buildings such as those of the college.
Head Porter of the college, Ian Fifield, insisted the drama was nothing to worry about, telling Cherwell that “it was a potential fire, not a fire,” but gave no comment to further questioning.
It is thought an electrical fault was responsible for the incident.