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University of Oklahoma removes Evans Hall fire escape following student's death

Workers removed fire escapes from the east and west sides of Evans Hall this week, after a review of the building by University of Oklahoma officials and the Norman Fire Department showed the structure met fire codes without the escapes.
by Silas Allen Published: June 13, 2012
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— A week after a student fell to her death, University of Oklahoma officials removed fire escapes from a campus building.

Workers removed fire escapes from the east and west sides of Evans Hall this week, after a review of the building by OU officials and the Norman Fire Department showed the structure met fire codes without the escapes, OU spokeswoman Catherine Bishop said.

Bishop said the university had upgraded the fire suppression system in the building in 1999, installing sprinkler systems and fire alarms. Those upgrades allowed for the removal of the two escapes, she said.

Officials are waiting for results of similar reviews for the Carnegie Building and Monnet Hall, she said.

Casey Cooke, of Edmond, was found unresponsive shortly before 3 a.m. June 3 east of Evans Hall. Emergency medical personnel administered CPR but were unable to revive her.

A police report prepared for the media and released by the university shows only that officers responded to a report of an unconscious female at 2:21 a.m. June 3.

OU officials refused to release a more comprehensive report, citing the ongoing investigation into Cooke's death.

Amy Elliott, a spokeswoman for the state medical examiner, said Cooke had died of blunt force trauma, presumably caused by the fall.

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by Silas Allen
General Assignment/Breaking News Reporter
Silas Allen is a news reporter for The Oklahoman. He is a Missouri native and a 2008 graduate of the University of Missouri.
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