Normal, AL – Sprinkler system activates in overnight fire at university housing complex; No injuries reported

Note: On January 19, 2000, a fire in a dormitory at Seton Hall University tragically took the lives of three students and injured many more.  The residence hall did not have a sprinkler system.

The Foster Complex at Alabama A&M University has been reopened after a fire that started in a single room at 11:50 p.m. Monday. According to the university’s director of housing, Karla Miller, the fire activated sprinklers.

Jerome Saintjones with the university says the fire was caused by an electrical outlet, and the major factor impacting the need to temporarily reassign rooms was the triggering of the sprinkler system. He says the first and second floors of the women’s side of the structure were especially affected by this. University officials say they are using an incremental move-in approach, and the students who were reassigned after the fire have been notified of the move-in schedule. Students have been scheduled to return to the building by Friday, February 22, or have been reassigned to other residence halls. Male students have been allowed to return to the Foster Complex, and times were scheduled for all female students to pick up personal items. Female students who live on the first and second floors have been advised by the university to pack enough items for the rest of the week, during which they will remain displaced. Female students on the third, fourth and fifth floors will be able to return to the building on Wednesday. Officials say the university has and will continue to provide toiletries, blankets and hygiene items to the students that were displaced, and these are available at the 500-bed, five-story Foster Complex.

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