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Memorial Union fire FAQs

October 03, 2007

Q: What caused the fire?
A: An investigation will take place into the cause of the fire on Friday, Nov. 2.

Q: Where did the fire start?
A: It started in a storage closet on the second floor near the Arizona ballroom.

Q: When will the Memorial Union reopen?
A: We do not know at this time. An assessment of the building will take place Friday, Nov. 2.

Q: Are the buildings around the Memorial Union open?
A: Yes.

Q: How many people use the Memorial Union on a daily basis?
A: Up to 20,000.

Q: How many people were in the building at the time of the fire?
A: While the exact number is not known, based on regular use patterns at that time of day, approximately 5,000.

Q: How was the ASU community notified about the fire?
A: People who were in the building and in immediate danger were notified via fire alarm and emergency personnel. ASU used three methods to reach the rest of the campus community: text message, email and the ASU homepage.

Q: Is this the first time the text messaging system has been used?
A: Yes.

Q: How many members of the ASU community are signed up for the text messaging service?
A: 3,668. To sign up, visit the Web site

Q: How does the text messaging system work?
A: Ideally, the system is supposed to send out 15 messages per second.
Taking into consideration that 3,668 people signed up for the system it should have reached all subscribers in approximately 5 minutes. The initial message was sent at 1:57 p.m. If you have subscribed to the text messaging system and received the message late or did not receive it at all, please email and describe your situation.

Q: Why did it take an hour to activate the text messaging system?
A: The primary and immediate concern was for the safety of the occupants within the Memorial Union, and for evacuating and securing the building. When that was accomplished it was determined that there was no additional threat to the ASU community. A text message was issued to let people know what had happened and to stay away from the immediate area.

Q: What is the history of the Memorial Union and what services are located there?
A: Visit the Memorial Union Website for more information at:

Q: What do I do if I am a member of the Arizona State Credit Union?
A: The Arizona State Credit Union has opened a temporary branch in the P.E. West Building located just east of Memorial Union. This will be a cashless office, but will still accept check deposits, loan payments, and transfers. As a courtesy to its members, Arizona State Credit Union will be refunding ATM surcharge fees from the campus area. Please submit a receipt to have your refund processed. Our hours will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, please visit our Web site at