Shelter-in-Place Order Lifted After Pepperdine Students Told to Stay on Campus Through Fire

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Pepperdine University President Andrew Benton speaks to students. (Credit: KTLA via Twitter)

Pepperdine University President Andrew Benton speaks to students. (Credit: KTLA via Twitter)

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Pepperdine University administrators instructed students to shelter in place on campus Friday night, even as the city of Malibu was under a mandatory evacuation order.

Saturday morning, the shelter-in-place order was lifted. The university said in a tweet that no permanent structures were lost and all individuals on campus are safe.

The mandatory evacuation order for Malibu remained in effect Saturday.

Flames at one point on Friday got very close to campus, but firefighters were able to push it back.

Students slept in the library, but some complained that it was hot and smoky there. One student told KTLA she was sleeping with a mask on, and that some of her friends evacuated, ignoring the administrators' instructions.

University President Andrew Benton told students that because the buildings on campus are built to withstand fire, it's best to stay on campus.

"When people get into a big hurry -- fire department, sheriff's department -- they move on instinct, and they're instinct is to just get everybody out of harm's way and move them, move them, move them," Benton told students. "The question is, where do you go? How do you get there? What's there when you arrive, wherever it is you're going? We don't think that's best."

Campus security is keeping the grounds closed, but at some point authorities came through and told students to evacuate.

That angered the university president, who also told students he didn't think fire officials were providing enough resources to the university. Since then, he tweeted out that the helicopters have been very effective in fighting the fires.

After the shelter-in-place order was lifted, Benton expressed his gratitude for the work of emergency crews.

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