Paralyzed student trapped in U-M dorm during fire drill - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

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.

  • Amy LangeMore from Amy LangeMore>>

  • Two in custody after search connected to Armada teen's murder

    Two in custody after search connected to Armada teen's murder

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 8:24 PM EDT2014-07-31 00:24:06 GMT
    The FBI and state police were at a home on Marquette Road in Goodells, Mich. most of Wednesday executing an investigative search warrant related to the murder of 14-year-old April Millsap.
    The FBI and state police were at a home on Marquette Road in Goodells, Mich. most of Wednesday executing an investigative search warrant related to the murder of 14-year-old April Millsap.
  • Three arrested after military reservist killed during carjacking

    Three arrested after military reservist killed during carjacking

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 7:01 PM EDT2014-07-29 23:01:39 GMT
    A third suspect is under arrest in the carjacking and murder of a young man outside the Superland Market at Schoolcraft Road and Rutland Street Monday night.
    A third suspect is under arrest in the carjacking and murder of a young man outside the Superland Market at Schoolcraft Road and Rutland Street Monday night.
  • Fire from lightning strike devastates Roseville church

    Fire from lightning strike devastates Roseville church

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 12:10 PM EDT2014-07-29 16:10:35 GMT
    A raging fire happens in Roseville and of all places to be struck by lightning - the steeple of the New Life Church of God in Christ.Pastor Darrell Moore and his family are devastated."I got here and I found out I really didn't have a church anymore, " he said. Moore was attending a Sunday evening service at another church, when a member of new life called him repeatedly. When he finally answered, it was bad news."The fire department was here, there was water everywhere," said Mary Moore, mot...
    A raging fire happens in Roseville and of all places to be struck by lightning - the steeple of the New Life Church of God in Christ.Pastor Darrell Moore and his family are devastated."I got here and I found out I really didn't have a church anymore, " he said. Moore was attending a Sunday evening service at another church, when a member of new life called him repeatedly. When he finally answered, it was bad news."The fire department was here, there was water everywhere," said Mary Moore, mot...
  • Download the FOX 2 Apps


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

  • Family asks for justice after mother of three found dead next to dumpster

    Family asks for justice after mother of three found dead next to dumpster

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 11:33 PM EDT2014-07-31 03:33:46 GMT
    When 32-year-old Katherine Gibson was a little girl, her loved ones thought, the "life" ahead of her would be long. But it wasn't."Me and my girlfriend dropped her off and she had just told us, she loved us," said Marvin Gibson, her cousin.That would be the last "I love you" that he would hear. because after Gibson's cousin dropped her off at Harper and Conner, near Bronco's Market. The day after, she was found dead. Gibson's lifeless body, discovered by a dumpster, beside the building."Layin...
    When 32-year-old Katherine Gibson was a little girl, her loved ones thought, the "life" ahead of her would be long. But it wasn't."Me and my girlfriend dropped her off and she had just told us, she loved us," said Marvin Gibson, her cousin.That would be the last "I love you" that he would hear. because after Gibson's cousin dropped her off at Harper and Conner, near Bronco's Market. The day after, she was found dead. Gibson's lifeless body, discovered by a dumpster, beside the building."Layin...
  • Detroit councilwoman dodges questions about Facebook photo

    Detroit councilwoman dodges questions about Facebook photo

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 11:27 PM EDT2014-07-31 03:27:05 GMT
    Councilwoman Mary Sheffield posted a photo with controversial figure Rayford Jackson, previously involved in the Monica Conyers scandal. Fox 2's M.L. Elrick wants to know why.
    Councilwoman Mary Sheffield posted a photo with controversial figure Rayford Jackson, previously involved in the Monica Conyers scandal. Fox 2's M.L. Elrick wants to know why.
  • Firefighter injured battling house fire in Detroit

    Firefighter injured battling house fire in Detroit

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 11:06 PM EDT2014-07-31 03:06:52 GMT
    A possible arson kept Detroit firefighters busy for much of the evening.
    A possible arson kept Detroit firefighters busy for much of the evening.
Powered by WorldNow

KTBC FOX 7
119 East 10th Street
Austin, TX 78701

Phone: (512) 476-7777
Fax: (512) 495-7001

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