Editor’s note: This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.
An electrical fire broke out in the Yosemite residence hall early Thursday morning, causing minor injuries for one student and displacing 58 students, according to university emails obtained by Mustang News.
The fire occurred around 3:15 a.m. in Yosemite Tower 6 on the second floor, President Jeffrey Armstrong wrote in a campus-wide email.
Armstrong said it seems an “improperly overloaded power strip in a resident’s room” caused the fire. The sprinkler system put out the fire, causing significant amounts of water to spread throughout the first and second floors, Armstrong said.
The students displaced from their rooms were offered spaces to stay in temporarily throughout the other residence halls, according to the email. Armstrong said “everyone was able to evacuate the hall safely.”
“Students on the first and third floors were allowed to return to their rooms temporarily to obtain belongings, but the second floor remains inaccessible to residents,” Vice President for Student Affairs Keith Humphrey said in another email.
Humphrey sent a roster of impacted students, including RAs, so faculty could note whether any of the students were in their classes. The email was sent to college deans and at least one assistant dean in each college.
“Many students did not accept our offer of relocation and either went to other friend’s rooms or remained in the Yosemite common area,” Armstrong said in the email. “Our staff made sure everyone had a place to go where they felt comfortable, and I was onsite ensuring residents needs were met.”
Humphrey said most damage was contained to the room where the fire occurred. The university will assist students whose school or personal items have been damaged.
Students must wait until the state fire marshal clears the building, the fire alarm is reactivated and water is removed from the floors in order to return to their rooms.
Armstrong said students living on the first and third floors should be able to return later today once the building receives state approval.
However, second-floor residents likely won’t be able to return to their rooms tonight due to smoke and floor damage.