Tags: columbia university | dorm | fire

Columbia University Dorm Fire – Someone Roasting Marshmallows?

Columbia University Dorm Fire – Someone Roasting Marshmallows?
(Dreamstime)

By    |   Thursday, 30 November 2017 12:57 PM

A Columbia University dorm fire late Wednesday forced 200 students to evacuate after the blaze torched a third-floor suite before one student smelled roasting marshmallows.

The fire started in the eight-floor co-ed Ruggles Hall about 11:15 p.m., authorities told the New York Daily News. About 200 students were evacuated from the dorm before firefighters got the blaze under control and secured the building in the early hours of the morning.

WNBC-TV reported that 20 fire units responded to the scene and more than 75 firefighters assisted in extinguishing the fire. No injuries were reported.

"It smelled like someone was roasting marshmallows," Johain Ounadjela, 20, who lived in the dorm, told the Daily News. "We didn't think anything of it. We thought someone was just cooking and set off the fire alarm."

The Daily News said the building stayed closed as firefighters finished inspections, forcing students to find alternative places to study and sleep.

Columbia's associate director of residential life Scott Helfrich alerted residents through email about the fire, according to the Columbia Spectator, the university's student-run newspaper. Helfrich wrote that some light fixtures in rooms on the second floor were damaged in the fire and that firefighters broke numerous locks on the fourth floor.

The student newspaper reported that firefighters were seen climbing a ladder to the third floor, where they smashed through several windowpanes as a crowd of residents looked on.

"I was one of the last people to leave and as I was coming down the stairs, the entire floor was covered in black water and smoke," student Kayla Kim, told the Spectator.

Another student, Avik Laha, who lives on the third floor of the dorm near where the fire happened, told the Spectator that he saw smoke as he left the building.

"The room in the middle of that suite was filled with smoke; you could see red flickering in the back," Laha told the student newspaper. "You could see it was charred on the ceiling."

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A Columbia University dorm fire late Wednesday forced 200 students to evacuate after the blaze torched a third-floor suite before one student smelled roasting marshmallows.
columbia university, dorm, fire
331
2017-57-30
Thursday, 30 November 2017 12:57 PM
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