The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Small fire in Dasilva causes waterdamage, but no injuries

A small fire broke out on the sixth floor of the DaSilva Residence Hall early last Thursday morning, causing some water damage but no injuries.

The fire department identified the cause of the fire as accidental and most likely ignited by a spark or some sort of open flame, rather than an electrical catalyst. An investigation is currently being conducted to determine the exact cause, according to Thomas Lawrence, vice president of Public Safety.

Criminal charges are being dismissed at this point as the cause is “obviously accidental,” Lawrence said.

Public Safety was notified of the fire at 6:20 a.m. when three smoke detectors went off in suite 609. Lawrence said the fire, which is thought to have started near the closet of one of the rooms in the suite, was contained because of the immediacy of the sprinkler systems.

“We were pleased with the way the system worked and the quick response of the fire department,” Lawrence said.

Suite 609 was “damaged considerably” because of water from the sprinklers and smoke from the fire. The suite across the hall and two other suites on the fifth floor also sustained some damage because of the sprinkler system, Lawrence said.

Freshman Matt Gonsalves lives on the sixth floor in DaSilva.

“It looked like someone was smoking in the hallway,” he said. “It smelled bad. I just got out as fast as I could.”

Students that live in DaSilva waited in Montgoris Dining hall until the fire department made sure the building was safe to re-enter. Some students thought the alarms indicated a drill, which usually happens frequently throughout the semester.

“We didn’t even know it was real until we got to Montgoris and public safety told us,” freshman Jordan Baptista said. “This has really been an inconvenience.”

Shenic Bennet, a freshman living on the third floor was woken up by public safety banging on her door saying “get out, get out, it’s real.”

“I had no idea what was going on,” she said. “It was scary.”

Freshman Dallas Adams lives on the first floor and was able to see the smoke when he exited the building.

“I didn’t see anything when I woke up, but I smelled it,” he said. “When we got outside I saw there was smoke coming out of one of the windows.

It was thick, black smoke.”


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