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Mishandled insecticide leads to fire search

A bug bomb went off in Warren Olney Hall on August 29, bringing the Oakland Fire Department to Mills College.

Scott Pastor, captain of the Oakland Fire Department, said that someone left a Raid Fumigator on a bed in room 302.

The fumigator releases a fog that kills insects in a room, but people who use it must put water in it first, according to

Capt. Pastor said that whomever used the Raid in Olney did not use water. The can overheated, causing it to produce smoke.

The fire alarms went off at 2:59 p.m., and three Oakland Fire Department engines and one truck arrived a few minutes later, according to Lt. Carlos Harvey on Engine 2558.

Olney residents left the dorm when the alarm sounded, but most students, including freshwoman Jillian Harris, thought it was a drill or malfunctioning equipment.

“We were all walking slowly like [Mills] was doing an early drill,” she said.

While Lt. Harvey said the alarm quickly notified the fire department, the personal safety page on the Mills website states that students should call 911 and Public Safety because “a fire is not necessarily automatically reported with the building’s fire alarm.”

Students can look over fire safety and all other Mills safety protocols at