August 20, 2017

Updated: Fire in West Hall leads to water damage

A small fire broke out in the West Hall dormitory building on March 30. It was extinguished quickly and damaged several areas of the building.

According to students and firefighters on the scene, the fire began in West Hall’s main floor kitchen, where a student was cooking.

“Thanks to the quick response by professional staff in Housing and Residential Life, the fire was extinguished, the building’s alarm and sprinkler systems were activated and there were no injuries,” Director of Housing and Residential Life John Buck said. 

Business major Kyler Kent was returning to his dorm in West Hall when he realized there had been a fire.

“I had to wait out in the rain on the other side of the circle,” Kent said. “I couldn’t see anything, but I saw the firefighters and the disaster relief there.”

West Hall resident Idalyn Bland was not in the building when the fire started.

“I heard about it an hour later,” Bland said. “A friend in one of my animation classes told me that someone had brought stuff back from New Orleans, tried to cook it and started a grease fire.”

Buck said firefighters quickly responded and determined it was safe for students to return to the dorms. The sprinklers set off caused damage to several rooms on the first floor of the building, including the main housing office. There was no damage to residential areas, according to Buck.

“I am very appreciative of our residents who followed our evacuation procedures today, our student staff in Housing and Residential Life who stepped up without hesitation, and for the swift and coordinated response from our colleagues in Public Safety and Facilities Services,” Buck said.

According to Webster Director of Public Relations Patrick Giblin, the Office of Risk Management has filed a claim with university insurance to pay for the damages.

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