Firefighters Clear Suspicious Powder Scene at UVa Dorm

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February 27, 2013

A University of Virginia residence hall was evacuated Wednesday morning after a mysterious white powder was found in a microwave.

The Charlottesville Fire Department arrived on the scene of LeFevre House around 10 a.m. Wednesday. The found the microwave had a sign on it reading, "Use at your own risk." That sign, plus the white powder inside, is what prompted the scare and the building evacuation.

After some tests on the scene, the fire department determined the white powder was baking soda, which some students were using to get rid of an odor in the microwave from the night before.

Still, firefighters said they didn't want to take any risks.

"We've looked at talcom powder in locker rooms and things like that," said Britt Grimm, Charlottesville's deputy fire chief. "They typically tend to be pretty benign, but we would prefer, just like we would with a fire alarm, to assume that it's potentially the real thing."

Students were allowed to return to their rooms around 11 a.m.

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