Firefighters Respond To Loading Dock Fire At Montgoris Dining Hall

Dining services at St. John’s University face service advisories through the weekend.


Torch Photo / Brady Snyder

QUEENS, NY — A fire was confirmed in Montgoris Dining Hall with no reported injuries and limited damage on Friday, April 1, according to on-scene public safety officers and St. John’s University. The fire was located in the loading dock of the building, with firefighters on the scene as of 5 p.m Friday evening dousing the building’s exterior. Montgoris Dining Hall is closed through the weekend with a planned reopening on Monday, April 4, per an email sent to resident students from the University’s Office of Residence Life.

“Alternative dining arrangements are being provided in Marillac Hall for the rest of the weekend,” the Residence Life email stated. “We intend to resume dining services in Montgoris on Monday morning (April 4, 2022).” In the meantime, three of the restaurants in Marillac Hall — Pom & Honey, Piccolia Italia and Revolution Noodle — have been transitioned to all-you-care-to-eat dining for the weekend. The buffet-style dining services will open at 9:30 a.m. and close at 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, with Market Marillac opening at 12 p.m. and closing at 10 p.m. 

Dunkin’ is operating under its normal weekend hours, and Burger King, Subway and Freshens are all closed despite the service changes. For updates and service advisories, check the Dine On Campus website, which is the home for dining services’ hours and menus. 

Torch Photo / Brady Snyder

The University has employed Mitigation Solutions LLC, a company specializing in disaster relief services for both commercial and residential properties, including fire, smoke and water restoration. More than twenty members of a Mitigation Solutions response team were seen discussing a plan to restore Montgoris Dining Hall outside of the building Saturday afternoon.

Torch Photo / Brady Snyder

At approximately 5:30 p.m Friday, first responders were seen using power tools attempting to cut through the metal gate to the dining hall’s loading dock. A St. John’s University public safety officer on the scene confirmed the location of the fire, and more details were provided by University Spokesperson Brian Browne.

“There were no injuries, and the fire was limited to the exterior of the building,” Browne said. “Due to burning garbage and grease, heavy smoke conditions from the fire prompted the evacuation of Montgoris Dining Hall and O’Connor Hall. The buildings are being aerated. Alternative dining arrangements are being provided In Marillac Hall.”

The University announced Friday night via Instagram to stay clear of the area and to “continue to monitor our channels for forthcoming dining information going into the weekend.” Typically, the Marillac Food Court remains closed through the weekend, with the notable exception of Dunkin’. However, the post stated that dining options “would reopen shortly for meal exchanges.” 

Later, dining services confirmed in an Instagram story, which was removed, that operating hours for the Marillac Food Court would be extended. Burger King, Subway, Pom & Honey, Piccolia Italia and Revolution Noodle remained open for meal exchanges through 10 p.m. Friday night. 

This story was updated Saturday to include dining and disaster response information, and is ongoing.