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About 250 students were evacuated from the Freshman Union Thursday afternoon when a sprinkler system in adjoining Burr Hall ruptured and set off fire alarms in the building, fire department officials said.
The alarms went off at about 1:35 p.m., forcing all the students in the Union to pack up their belongings and leave the building within three minutes, observers said.
At 1:44 p.m., a fire engine with four firefighters arrived and inspected Burr Hall. According to Lt. Barry S. Lynde of the Cambridge Fire Department, a "sprinkler pipe split due to freezing, and Harvard Engineers will put the system back in."
He classified the incident as an "investigation only" call.
Burr Hall's warning system is connected to the Union, fire officials said.
Although dining service officials did not know the exact location of the rupture, Union Manager Pat L. Hesse said "I saw several Facilities and Maintenence people come in to fix it."
Melanie Murphy, a secretary at Burr Hall, said "we waited outside for about 20 minutes, and then we went back in."
At 5:04 p.m. the same day, firefighters also had to respond to a false alarm at the Faculty Club, which is located next to the Union. Lt. Kenneth W. Clark reported that "smoke from fireplace activated the detector in the room."
There were no injuries in either incident.
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