News

Friday Fire in Morewood was No Drill

Last Friday evening, at 7:20 pm, a fire broke out on the second floor of Morewood Gardens B-tower. The fire was severe enough to warrant an evacuation of that wing of the residence hall.
Firefighter Darvy Hicks said that firefighters responded to the scene after receiving the signal from the fire alarm system along with multiple calls from residents. Police officer Jay Hendershot reported that it was ?a small fire in the kitchen area of the second floor that was put out in about ten or 15 minutes.?
Several residents were confused upon hearing the alarms go off, and had to be told by officers to evacuate their rooms. The problem stemmed from that morning, when alarms went off as part of a routine fire drill that had been scheduled for the day. Residents assumed that the sirens were another part of the drill, and did not leave until police responding to the scene came to their rooms to warn them of the danger. As such, many students were caught off-guard. One group was in the middle of playing a game of DDR with their friend who was celebrating her birthday. They were all forced to evacuate amid clouds of smoke and fumes.
The fire originated in the kitchen of the second floor in a plastic trash can. The cause is still being investigated. By the time police arrived, the trash can had melted to the floor. It was quickly put out with an extinguisher by officer Jefferson of Campus Police; fortunately, no injuries occured, nor did any damages other than the removal of several tiles from the kitchen area.
If you have any knowledge as to the cause of the fire, please call fire investigator Ray Barringer at (412) 937-3078.