Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.

Students evacuate Tooker House after reported fire

An electrical fire on the third floor was extinguished after it was reported just before 3 p.m. The incident is still under investigation

tooker fire.jpeg
A firefighter walks between a parking garage and Tooker House in Tempe on April 19, 2024.

Students were evacuated from Tooker House after a fire on the third floor was reported at 2:50 p.m. on Friday afternoon. 

One firefighter on the scene said the fire started with a wall outlet. The Tempe Fire Department responded and extinguished the fire. 

The incident is still under investigation, according to an ASU spokesperson. Residents have been allowed back in the building.

Some students learned about the fire from messages in their floor's group chats, and others were alerted by police officers inside the building.

The temperature at 4:05 p.m. was 94 degrees Fahrenheit. Students huddled under shadows, trees and overhangs while the Palo Verde Starbucks flooded with students looking for water.

"The alarms went off and I started making a video at 2:57, and so that's when I noticed the alarm started to go off. I don't know about everyone else's," Cam Benjamin, Tooker House resident and a freshman studying construction management and technology, said. 

Some students said they didn't think too much of the alarms at first. Claire Dorius, a freshman studying computer science, said she counted 23 false alarms on her floor in Tooker House this semester before this fire.

"I mean, at the beginning, especially, like 30 times, it's kind of like lessening over time, but it'll happen multiple times at night," Gracelynn Kastler, a freshman studying electrical engineering, said.

Tooker House resident and freshman studying biomedical engineering Kaitlinn Foley said she knew the alarm was legitimate because it went off in the middle of the day. She said most false alarms seemed to ring late at night or early in the morning.

"With it being in the middle of the day, I was like, 'Oh, maybe there's actually something going on, so I should leave,'" she said.

As of 4:36 p.m., fire department vehicles had left and police were present on the scene.

Edited by Alysa Horton and Sadie Buggle.

Walker Smith contributed to this story.

Reach the reporter at and follow @shanebrennan36 on X.

Like The State Press on Facebook and follow @statepress on X.

Shane BrennanEditor-in-Chief

Shane Brennan is the Editor-in-Chief at The State Press. He was a sports and politics reporter, before becoming the editor of the politics desk. He has covered local and state politics for the Arizona Capitol Times and Cronkite News.

Continue supporting student journalism and donate to The State Press today.

Subscribe to Pressing Matters



This website uses cookies to make your experience better and easier. By using this website you consent to our use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie Policy.