Six graduate students have been displaced from their dormitories following a fire that occurred early Sunday afternoon, according to Assistant Vice President for Communications Daniel Day.
Day explained that no one was harmed in the incident. According to NJ.com, two students who were present at the time of the incident ran out of the apartment but were not injured. No one else was in the building, explained Robert Gregory, Director of Emergency Services at the Princeton Fire Department.
Day explained that the incident happened around 1 p.m. at 27 Edwards Place, a residential apartment unit for graduate students. The building faces University Place and is located near the Princeton University Store.
After receiving an emergency call around 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon, a number of parties, including the Princeton Fire Department, Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad, the Plainsboro Fire Company, the Princeton Junction Fire Company and the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, among others, responded immediately and reported to the scene, said Day.
Day explained that the Princeton Fire Department is investigating the cause and circumstances surrounding this incident.
According to Gregory, the fire has been ruled an accident, though the exact cause of the fire is undetermined.
The building suffered moderate damage from the incident, Gregory noted.
“The fire was in the wall and ceiling of the first floor apartment. The first floor apartment had both heat and smoke damage, the second floor had heavy smoke damage,” he said.
In order to contain the fire, respondents to the scene had to tear down several walls in the building’s interior. Day noted that firefighters at the scene also had to knock a door down to access the fire. In an email, Chief Dan Tomlin of the Princeton Police Department noted that while there was damage to the first and second floors of the building, there were no reported injuries to fire personnel or residents.
Gregory noted that the University is responsible for assessing damages to the building and property losses. The assessment for Saturday's fire is still ongoing, according to Day. This sentiment was echoed by Tomlin, who noted that, at this time, the fire is still under investigation.
The fire was under control by around 1:30 p.m., Day explained. However, after the accident, both the first and second floor rooms were found uninhabitable, and six students had to be temporarily relocated after an evaluation by the housing department.
The six students whose housing was affected by the fire's damage are now being housed in different graduate residential units across campus, noted Day, who could not disclose the exact locations for reasons of confidentiality.
Several facilities personnel made sure that gas supply, electricity and other utilities to the building were turned off following the incident, said Day.
The University is in the process of repairing the building and making it inhabitable again, Day noted as well, though he could not comment on the timeframe of the repair process.
Executive Director of Public Safety Paul Ominsky deferred comment to Day.