Roanoke College

Small fire in Chesapeake Hall contained

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  • Small fire in Chesapeake Hall contained

  • 09/28/09
  • UPDATE: Thursday, October 1

    More than 20 students are still displaced from their rooms in Chesapeake Hall due to the kitchen fire on Monday. Fire and smoke damage was minimal, but there was an extensive amount of water from the sprinkler system in some areas of the building. A team of specialists was contracted by the College to coordinate the clean-up. This crew is using fans, dehumidifiers and even thermal imaging of the walls to insure that the common areas as well as student rooms are properly cleaned and dried to minimize the potential for any long-term problems with the students' living environment.

    Unfortunately, the noise, as well as the obstructions caused by the equipment, makes it hazardous for the students to reside in those specific areas. While students have been allowed access to their rooms to get clothes, books and other personal belongings, they have not been able to spend the nights in their rooms.

    Displaced students have been given options for alternative housing while their rooms are dried. Many of these students have elected to stay with friends until the situation has been resolved.

    The College appreciates the patience of these students and is doing its best to assist them during this difficult time.

    Monday, September 28

    7:15 pm

    A small fire broke out in Chesapeake Hall today just before 5 pm. The sprinklers in the building deployed and the fire was quickly extinguished by the sprinklers. Students were evacuated from the building and the Salem Fire Department was on the scene three minutes after getting the report. One student reported a minor injury and was treated at the scene.

    Salem Fire Department has returned control of the building to the College at this hour. Housekeeping staff is working now to clean the building and remove excess water. Buildings and Grounds staff is working with the sprinkler company to recharge the sprinkler system before students can be allowed to be in the building for extended periods of time.

    Students living in Chesapeake will be allowed to return to the building for short periods of time, in small groups, to retrieve personal belongings. Report to the entrance near Afton parking lot for entry to the building and follow the directions of Residence Life staff and Campus Safety.

    The building may be reopened by 9 pm tonight. Students living in Chesapeake should check their email to find out when the building will be reopened. Information will be emailed as soon as the building is safe for students to return.

    Salem Fire Department reported the cause of the fire to be cooking related. Salem Fire and Rescue responded to the fire and found light smoke in the building. After shutting off the sprinkler system and electricity, the Fire Department cleared the building of smoke and monitored the air quality in the building.

    5:50 pm

    A small fire broke out in Chesapeake Hall today around 5 pm. The sprinklers in the building deployed and the fire was quickly extinguished. Students were evacuated from the building and the Salem Fire Department is on the scene now. One student reported a minor injury. The situation is under control and students should be allowed to return to the residence hall sometime this evening.

    The fire occurred in a kitchen and is under investigation by the Salem Fire Department.

    More information will be provided as it becomes available.

  • Public Relations
  • (540) 375-2282
  • gereaux@roanoke.edu