Paralyzed student trapped in U-M dorm during fire drill - New York News

Paralyzed student trapped in U-M dorm during fire drill

Posted: Updated:
Drew Clayborn, 19, at his seventh-floor dorm room Drew Clayborn, 19, at his seventh-floor dorm room
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WJBK) -

19-year-old Drew Clayborn is now a sophomore at the University of Michigan after becoming paralyzed while practicing a backflip for a high school musical four years ago. He and his family haven't let his wheelchair get in the way of anything - but Sunday night wasn't within their control.

Drew usually goes home for the weekends but this past weekend he stayed in his seventh floor dorm for the first time. Sunday night, the fire alarm went off.

"It was a little nerve wracking just because we weren't sure if we were going to have to go tumbling down some stairs, or what to expect. It was a little scary," Drew tells Fox 2's Amy Lange.

For the first time, Drew felt trapped.

His roommates were there with him but he and his chair weigh 600 pounds.

Drew's RA came and called public safety. Public safety came but still no rescue - and no word on whether there was, in fact, a fire for about 20 minutes.

"Whatever protocol they had it ... came up short last night and that they really need to address it and make sure. There's no more of a helpless feeling than being in a situation where you can't do anything," Drew's father, Ledon Clayborn, says.

VIDEO: Click on the video player above to hear more from Drew and his dad in Fox 2's Amy Lange's report


The fire turned out to be a false alarm; it was a hot water pipe that burst in the basement.

A spokesperson with the University of Michigan tells Fox 2 that policies and procedures are in place and were followed.

Drew might not have known, but more than one person had contacted dispatch to tell them about Drew. Had the situation been a real emergency, firefighters would have evacuated him.

It's not clear why there was such confusion but it's a good reminder for every family to always know your escape plan.

  • Download the FOX 2 Apps


  • FOX 2 News Five-Day Forecast
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Skydiver dies after crashing into NJ backyard

    Skydiver dies after crashing into NJ backyard

    Sunday, April 20 2014 10:56 PM EDT2014-04-21 02:56:44 GMT
    New Jersey NewsNew Jersey News
    A 49-year-old sky diver from Brooklyn died after crashing into the backyard of a home in New Jersey. According to officials, Arkady Shenker wore a specialized parachute during the jump. Shenker was known to be an experienced skydiver who had over 300 jumps under his belt.
    A 49-year-old sky diver from Brooklyn died after crashing into the backyard of a home in New Jersey. According to officials, Arkady Shenker wore a specialized parachute during the jump. Shenker was known to be an experienced skydiver who had over 300 jumps under his belt.
  • Boxer Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter dies at 76

    Boxer Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter dies at 76

    New Jersey NewsNew Jersey News
    Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, the boxer whose wrongful murder conviction became an international symbol of racial injustice, has died at 76.
    Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, the boxer whose wrongful murder conviction became an international symbol of racial injustice, has died at 76.
  • 2 children die in overnight NYC fire

    2 children die in overnight NYC fire

    Sunday, April 20 2014 6:57 PM EDT2014-04-20 22:57:33 GMT
    Police say 4-year-old half siblings have died in an overnight fire at a home in New York City, and the twin of one of the children has survived.
    Police say 4-year-old half siblings have died in an overnight fire at a home in New York City, and the twin of one of the children has survived.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Ford at the Beijing Auto Show

    Ford at the Beijing Auto Show

    Monday, April 21 2014 3:27 AM EDT2014-04-21 07:27:48 GMT
    Ford Motor Co. on Sunday unveiled a new Escort sedan designed in China for global sale at a Beijing auto show that highlighted the growing influence of Chinese tastes on the industry. Automakers are looking to China's biggest auto show this year to help boost sales in this huge but cooling market. Total sales last year reached 17.9 million vehicles, but growth is expected to slow from 15.7 percent to as low as 8 percent, even as newcomers including Lincoln and Tesla enter the market.
    Ford Motor Co. on Sunday unveiled a new Escort sedan designed in China for global sale at a Beijing auto show that highlighted the growing influence of Chinese tastes on the industry. Automakers are looking to China's biggest auto show this year to help boost sales in this huge but cooling market. Total sales last year reached 17.9 million vehicles, but growth is expected to slow from 15.7 percent to as low as 8 percent, even as newcomers including Lincoln and Tesla enter the market.
  • GM at the Beijing Auto Show

    GM at the Beijing Auto Show

    Monday, April 21 2014 3:24 AM EDT2014-04-21 07:24:01 GMT
    The president of General Motors said Sunday that the company and local partners are boosting production capacity for GM-brand vehicles in China to 5 million. Speaking at the Beijing auto show, Dan Ammann said the company also expects sales of its Cadillac luxury cars to double to 100,000 next year. General Motors Co. and its Chinese partners are in the midst of what the company has said is a $12 billion investment program through 2017.
    The president of General Motors said Sunday that the company and local partners are boosting production capacity for GM-brand vehicles in China to 5 million. Speaking at the Beijing auto show, Dan Ammann said the company also expects sales of its Cadillac luxury cars to double to 100,000 next year. General Motors Co. and its Chinese partners are in the midst of what the company has said is a $12 billion investment program through 2017.
  • Clutch Cargo's Returns to Religious Roots

    Clutch Cargo's Returns to Religious Roots

    Monday, April 21 2014 3:11 AM EDT2014-04-21 07:11:55 GMT
    Clutch Cargo's, a southeastern Michigan church building that spent several years as a nightclub, reopened as a house of worship on Easter Sunday.
    Clutch Cargo's, a southeastern Michigan church building that spent several years as a nightclub, reopened as a house of worship on Easter Sunday.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices