Mar 062012
Authors: Erin Udell

A late-night dorm room fire Tuesday left residents of Ingersoll Hall’s 1 Southwest (SW) floor evacuated from their rooms and West Pitkin Street glowing with the flashing lights of Poudre Fire Authority fire trucks.

According to a PFA news release a fire sprinkler kept the fire contained inside a closet until firefighters could extinguish the flames. When units first responded after the 9:40 p.m. report, they found heavy smoke coming from a small fire inside a closet. The fire is considered suspicious.

CSU Spokesperson Dell Rae Moellenberg said while nobody was injured, all residents of the hall’s south side were initially evacuated. By 11 p.m. only residents of 1 SW – the floor where the fire took place – were still waiting to be admitted back into their rooms.

The pajama-clad students sat in Ingersoll’s lobby with laptops and books while talking about their early morning tests while firefighters and police investigated their floor.

While fire damage was contained to the closet itself, water and smoke damaged eight surrounding rooms along with part of the hallway and some students were provided with temporary housing. University officials said most students will be back in their dorms by the end of the day.

CSUPD Sgt. Adam Smith said the fire’s cause is still unknown, and freshman biology major Tyler Kersey – a 1 SW resident – echoed Smith, saying he too was unsure of how the incident happened.

Kersey said he was also unsure of where he was going to stay for the night if his hall was deemed unsafe.

“Any time there is a fire in a residence hall, all residents are evacuated until areas are assessed for damage from smoke, fire and sprinklers and it is deemed that they (the rooms) can be safely occupied,” Smith said.

PFA and CSUPD investigators are working to find the origin and cause of the fire. Anyone with information on the fire is urged to contact the Colorado Arson Hotline at (877) 892-7766 or (877) 89-ARSON.

For more information as this story develops, check the Collegian and
News Editor Erin Udell can be reached at

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