Category Archives: Residence Hall/Dormitory

Gainesville, FL – Sprinkler system activated for two separate residential fires

Early this morning, Monday, March 4, 2024, Gainesville Fire Rescue (GFR) firefighters were called for two working building fires back to back.

Firefighters responded to an apartment fire in the area of 6000 NW 26th Street, just before 6:04 a.m.  Firefighters arrived on scene in just under five minutes and immediately began extinguishing the fire and searching for victims. The 27 firefighters who responded had the fire extinguished within 4 minutes of arrival. Building damage was limited mostly to the apartment of origin. Damage to an adjacent apartment was minimal. No civilian or firefighter injuries resulted from this fire. Two neighbors were displaced. The fire is under investigation.

While firefighters were finishing up at the first fire, a second multi-family residential building fire was reported at 6:23 a.m. near the 3000 block of NE 28th Drive (GRACE Marketplace). Firefighters arrived on scene in six minutes to find the building full of smoke and immediately began efforts to locate the fire and search for victims.

Prior to the arrival of firefighters, the building’s fire sprinkler system controlled fire growth, allowing occupants time to escape and limiting building damage. The 27 firefighters who responded completed extinguishing the fire within 10 minutes of arrival. The fire caused minimal damage to the building. One civilian suffered a very minor injury, and no firefighter injuries were reported. Ten neighbors were displaced.

The fire appears to have been caused by several charging battery packs.  Fires caused by batteries and battery chargers are a growing problem. The National Fire Protection Association recommends that you avoid charging a device under a pillow, on a bed, or on a couch, and do not keep charging the device or battery once it is fully charged.

Madison, WI – Sprinkler system activated for fire on university campus

The Madison Fire Department reported an automatic sprinkler prevented further damage to a building on UW-Madison’s campus overnight.

Spokesperson Cynthia Schuster said firefighters were dispatched to 30 East Campus Mall at 12:33 a.m. for a fire alarm activation. Schuster said no one was around to report the fire to 911.

Upon arrival, firefighters were met by members of the UW-Madison Police Department and UW Security.

The crew entered the building and noticed an odor of smoke. The odor was followed to a wood workshop, where the crew found the room full of smoke and an automatic fire sprinkler activated.

Beneath the active sprinkler was a burned-up garbage can and its contents on the floor. Just one sprinkler head activated, but it extinguished the fire and prevented the fire from spreading, according to Schuster.

Damage from the fire is estimated at about $2,000. Damage was contained to some paint cans, a portable electric sander, cabinets and other items.

Firefighters moved the burned items outside, ventilated the area, and turned off the fire sprinkler system.

With the sprinkler systems temporarily shut down, UW Security provided fire watch until a responsible party returned to the building.

Gorham, ME – Sprinkler system activated for fire in four-story on campus dormitory; No injuries reported

Gorham’s fire chief says the state fire marshal was called to the University of Southern Maine’s campus for the second time in roughly a week on Monday morning.

Chief Ken Fickett says his firefighters were called to Upton Hastings Hall at roughly 2:07 a.m., as students were being evacuated from the four-story dormitory.

The chief says the fire was determined to have started in a closet on the third floor, but was thankfully contained by the floor’s sprinkler system.

This latest incident comes a week after a fire on Monday, Sept. 25, in which a lithium battery from a vape pen was determined to have caused a fire in a trash can on the same floor of Upton Hastings Hall. No injuries were reported in either fire.

In that incident, 23 students were temporarily relocated.

In the latest incident, University of Southern Maine officials say 47 students from two floors are being temporarily relocated due to the damage from the fire sprinkler system, which activated immediately.

This week, there was no damage reported from the fire itself, though the cause is still being investigated.

“Details are still emerging,” wrote USM’s public affairs officer Dan Hartill. “For now, our focus is on the wellbeing of our students.”

Redlands, CA – Sprinkler system activated for fire at student living residence; No injuries reported

Wednesday evening, a student living in Grossmont Hall reported a fire in their first-floor residence. Public Safety was first on scene, followed by the Redlands Fire and Police departments and the fire was quickly contained and extinguished. There were no injuries and damage was contained to four rooms, three of which sustained minor water damage from the automatic fire sprinkler system. The facilities team is now completing an inspection of the building and will coordinate cleanup efforts.

The university’s fire alarm and sprinkler systems both functioned properly and aided in a quick evacuation of the residence hall and the extinguishing of the fire. At this time, we are working with the student and Redlands fire authorities to determine the cause of the fire.

For their comfort, residents living in Grossmont Hall will be temporarily relocated while cleanup is conducted.

Provo, UT – Sprinkler system activated for fire at dormitory; No injuries reported

A BYU student making rocket fuel inside the kitchen of a campus dormitory started a fire Sunday that caused damage to the building, displacing residents.

University police said they were alerted to the fire at Heritage Halls – Building Four at 4:30 p.m and found the fire sprinklers had been activated and were flooding the floor.

Flames from the fire “had engulfed the walls and ceiling around the stove and the intense heat tripped the fire sprinkler system,” the department wrote.

After the fire was put out, an investigation found that the student was making homemade rocket fuel on the kitchen stove when it exploded into a fireball.

No one was injured, but the department said “some dorm residents will be displaced due to the flooding.”

“Please keep your experiments in the lab and supervised by trained professionals,” warned the police.

Phoenix, AZ – Sprinkler system extinguishes 10th floor fire in university dorm

Students living in the Taylor Place Residential Community on the Downtown Phoenix campus woke up to an alarm and sprinklers early Saturday morning after a fire broke out in one of the dorm rooms on the 10th floor of tower one.

The fire was caused by an electrical surge in the dorm room, which activated the water sprinkler system, according to an emailed statement from University spokesperson, Jerry Gonzalez. All residents were told to evacuate the towers and wait outside until it was safe to return.

The sprinklers “promptly extinguished the fire” and all residents evacuated the building safely, Gonzalez said.

Mary Neale, a freshman studying sports journalism who lives on the 11th floor, said she heard people running down the hallways knocking on doors, alerting residents to evacuateNeale said students rushed down the stairs and waited outside Taylor Place while the authorities cleared the fire.

Due to flooding caused by the sprinklers, students living on the 10th floor have been relocated to the Downtown Phoenix Hampton Inn until their rooms have been completely restored. Gonzalez said in the statement there are about 30 students staying in the off-campus lodging. While there is no exact timeline for when students will be able to return to their rooms, University housing will notify them when the rooms are ready.

Gonzalez said the University is currently drying the impacted rooms and will be working with other students who were affected by the water sprinklers and will help them replace items that were damaged.

Michael and Anthony Yero, both freshman sports journalism students, were the occupants of the room that caught on fire. Michael Yero said authorities told him that his electrical razor was plugged into an outlet and caused a surge. One of the sparks fell onto a towel, which ignited and spread to his laundry.

“Its been a couple of days just figuring out what I can do and managing school and work at the same time,” Michael Yero said. “It’s been a busy couple of days trying to get back to normal.”

Michael Yero said the fire from the surge and water from the sprinklers damaged much of his and his brother’s belongings including a laptop, camera, camera lenses and clothes. But even with the damages and having to move, Michael said that throughout the experience he and his brother have “tried to look at the good side of things.”

He said that even when they learned it was their room that was affected by the fire, they were and continue to get through by supporting each other and doing what they can do to move forward. 

“When we first heard it was our room we looked at each other and we said that we are there for each other and have each others’ backs,” Michael said. “We’re supportive of each other throughout the whole way.”

According to Michael Yero, the University provided him and his brother gift cards for essentials and will provide a stipend to replace their damaged items. He said that despite not being in his dorm, living in the Hampton Inn has been a “great time” and it has provided him the opportunity to spend more time with his friends.

“ASU has been been very helpful,” Michael Yero said. “(The University) team did a great job in responding to the situation. They were very kind in giving money to help us out and accompany us and comfort us. They did a great job.

Boca Raton, FL – Sprinkler system activated for dryer fire at college dorm

At around 10:28 p.m. the fire alarm at Heritage Park Towers (HPT) went off, prompting residents of the building to evacuate. 

“It started on the first floor in the laundry room in HPT’s south tower. What lit on fire was one of the dryers,” said resident Lorenzo Biondo, who was in the laundry room when the fire started. 

“I was in the [laundry] room, and I saw smoke,” continued Biondo.  “We opened the dryer that the smoke was coming from and there was a fire in the back of the machine that started to get bigger.” 

According to firefighter Raquel Lea, the laundry room will most likely be closed off for an ​​unknown amount of time as the fire sprinkler system has since flooded the room. 

The fire alarm went off within a minute of opening the dryer. 

“I believe it was an RA who pulled the fire alarm. It happened relatively quickly,” Biondo said.

As residents began to evacuate the building, they crowded on the breezeway. 

“I instructed them to move towards the volleyball courts,” said HPT resident assistant Christine Robinson, “which is the protocol we are taught as a resident assistant.” 

Resident Darien Strevel described their experience while evacuating the building. 

“I walked down to the first floor and it was really hot,” they said.

Amaya Swelland, a first floor resident of Heritage Park Towers was scared by the fire. 

“I was sitting at my computer and suddenly I heard an alarm,” Swelland stated. “I ran out to the hall and there was smoke everywhere. I heard people saying that it was a dryer, which made sense because the laundry room is located on my floor.”

Around 11:12 p.m., several firemen collectively pulled out the heavy dryer that started the fire. There was an audible cheer from the residents of HPT, who were still gathered outside of the building. Many residents began clapping. 

As of 1:30 a.m., students are still evacuated outside of the building.

Caldwells, NJ – Sprinkler system activated for fire at university residence hall

A fire was extinguished at a Caldwell University residence hall on Monday, authorities said.

According to the Caldwell Volunteer Fire Department, their peers in West Caldwell got a call about an active fire alarm at the Mother Joseph Residence Hall at 5:17 p.m. The Caldwell Fire Department was immediately dispatched to the scene.

On arrival, firefighters found the alarm sounding and the building evacuated. Firefighters soon found “heavy smoke” coming from the second floor and an activated sprinkler system. Arriving fire crews stretched a line to extinguish the fire in the second floor recycling area, officials said.

Caldwell firefighters got mutual aid from Essex Fells, West Caldwell, Cedar Grove, North Caldwell, Roseland and the West Essex First Aid Squad.

All units were clear of the scene at 7:07 p.m. The cause of the fire is under investigation, authorities said.

Officials said that fire damage was limited to the room of origin, but smoke and water damage was found throughout the building.

“The sprinklers and fire alarm system did their job and kept the fire in check until fire units arrived to completely extinguish the fire,” Chief Andrew Pollara said.

Caldwell University staff relocated students to other residence halls on campus, authorities said.

Tempe, AZ – Sprinkler system extinguishes stove fire at University Towers

One person was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries after a small kitchen fire broke out at the University Towers student housing complex Tuesday evening, according to Tempe Fire Medical Rescue Department spokesperson Brandon Siebert. 

The occupant who was injured suffered smoke inhalation and other minor injuries after falling while evacuating the building. Another person was evaluated by paramedics on scene but declined any further care, Siebert said.

Three people were temporarily displaced by the fire: two people from the unit that caught fire on the second floor, and one in the unit below, which sustained water damage, Siebert said.

The fire started after a frying pan with cooking oil was left on the stove unattended, Siebert said. The building’s automatic fire sprinkler system extinguished the flames and prevented the fire from spreading to other apartments.

University Towers is located at 525 S. Forest Ave. in Tempe.

Omaha, NE – Fire Sprinkler activated for fire in university dorm building; No injuries reported

The Omaha Fire Department, Omaha Police Department and Creighton University’s Department of Public Safety responded to an incident at a Kiewit Hall early this morning.

According to Cindy Workman, the university’s director of public relations, three small fires had been set at hand sanitizer stations. One of these fires triggered the fire suppression system in the building.

The students were safely evacuated to the student center and no one was injured.

The building was cleared for re-entry, and those students whose rooms were impacted by the sprinkler system were relocated.

Omaha Police and Public Safety are investigating the incident.