The Republican leader of the Iowa House is denying a Democrat lawmaker who’s in a wheelchair would have been left to burn up during a fire alarm evacuation at the capitol. House Republican Leader Chuck Gipp of Decorah says Representative Mark Kuhn, who is temporarily immobilized because of a farm accident, was not left to sit by himself. Troopers arrived on the scene and determined it was a false alarm.

“Nobody’s going to be abandoned to burn up in this building because everybody else rushes off,” Gipp says. “We’re Iowans. We’re going to make sure and assist that they get (out).” Kuhn is in a wheelchair and using the elevator to go from floor to floor in the capitol.”As you also know in most cases that when there is a fire alarm (that) goes off…in this statehouse or the World Trade Center or any other place that it is, is that you don’t go to the elevators,” Gipp says. “That causes some problems in how you evacuate people.”

Gipp says there are procedures in place for all kinds of evacuations at the statehouse. Gipp says what happened yesterday is that a special evacuation chair used to carry people to safety was not on the second floor of the statehouse. But there’s one there today.