Popcorn machine removed from North Dakota Capitol after triggering fire alarms

Popcorn machine removed from North Dakota Capitol after triggering fire alarms
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A state lawmaker's popcorn machine, which violated building policy, was removed from the North Dakota Capitol after it triggered multiple fire alarms and caused legislators to evacuate.

State Rep. Mary Johnson (R), who owned the machine, had attempted to make a third batch of popcorn on Monday afternoon when the alarms were triggered for the second time that day, sending firefighters to the building, according to the Bismarck Tribune.

Johnson told the Tribune that she was unaware of a building policy that bans toasters, popcorn machines, frying pans, plate warmers and other food appliances from being used in areas outside of the Capitol Cafe.

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According to the rule, which was created by the Office of Management and Budget, facility management has the right to request for the appliances to be removed if they are in violation of the policy.

State House Majority Leader Chet Poller (R) said that he also did not know about the policy, which was initiated in 2016. He told the Tribune that popcorn served as a way to bring House Republicans together after the caucus had been "strained" due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Popcorn cheers people up for a reason,” Pollert said, according to the news outlet. “And now it’s gone, and that’s the way it goes.”