A fire in Sequoia Hall occurred this past Sunday afternoon, causing 10 students to be displaced from housing.
Mustang News Staff Report
After an investigation Monday morning, state fire marshals determined the fire in Sequoia Hall on Sunday afternoon was caused by a short in an electrical break that controlled the four rooms in the hall.
“The electrician reset the breaker, and all the electrical equipment in the four rooms came on at once,” a press release from Cal Poly officials said. “The resulting power surge was too much for the infrastructure, and fire ignited in an electrical outlet.”
Cal Poly officials originally thought the fire was caused by a prohibited hotplate plugged into an electrical outlet in the room where the fire started, but this was not the case.
Freshmen living in the hall saw the fire early and used a fire extinguisher to put out most of the flames. Approximately 200 students were evacuated from the building while the University Police Department and San Luis Obispo City Fire surveyed the surrounding area and cleaned the damages.
Most students were able to return to the building approximately 90 minutes later, but four of the rooms were deemed unsafe for students to continue to live in. University Housing relocated the 10 students affected by the fire to “alternate accommodations” as the investigation and cleanup continues.
“Meanwhile, Cal Poly facilities staff members are working to proactively ensure that similar incidents do not take place in the campus’s residence halls,” the press release said. “Crews are examining the electrical infrastructure of all of the red brick dorms along Grand Avenue to identify and correct similar weak spots. As well, crews have altered their repair procedure for such incidents, so that electricity is restored little by little to affected areas, avoiding similar overloads.”
Sara Natividad contributed to this staff report.
An earlier version of this article attributed the quoted information to Matt Lazier. This information was in fact from a Cal Poly press release.