Members of the Tri Delta sorority evacuated their sorority house on Wednesday at about 6 p.m. after a fire broke out in the basement, according to Prince George’s County Fire Department spokesperson Michael Yourishin.
The sorority house’s sprinkler system put out the bulk of the fire, Yourishin said. Nobody in the house was injured.
“It just goes to show you the importance of having a sprinkler system in buildings like that,” Yourishin said.
Members of the sorority were evacuated for about an hour after the fire started in a dryer in the laundry room, said Tri Delta member Ellie Laffargue.
Laffargue, a junior public health science major, was in her room watching “Gilmore Girls” when the house’s fire alarms went off. At first, she thought it was one of many false alarms that occur in the house when sorority members blow dry their hair or accidentally set the alarms off, she said.
Laffargue said she darted down the stairs without shoes on after she heard the house chef scream at residents to evacuate.
Once it was safe to return back into the building, Laffargue says many of the residents noticed smoke in the hallways and in their rooms.
“Even when we were allowed back in, a lot of girls stayed outside because of how bad it smelled,” Laffargue said.
The laundry room is off-limits to residents for the next couple days due to smoke and water damage from the sprinklers, she added.