Shepherdstown Fire Department responded to a fire in Dunlop Hall this Sunday evening after cardboard boxes were left on the stove in a residence room.
Around 4:35 p.m., residents were evacuated by smoke detectors into the lobby of Printz Hall while many residents looked on the scene with confusion. There was a strong police and fire department presence observed by students who were also standing outside.
“It was on the first floor. Cardboard boxes were on the stove,” Officer Kelvington of the Shepherd University Police Department said. “There was good cooperation with the evacuation. Company 3 responded quickly. Everything seems to be okay,” he continued.
Around 35 students stood in the lobby, talking amongst one another about what had happened. Some of the residents stood on the steps that lead into Printz Hall, while others tried speaking to both law enforcement as well as to the firefighters.
There were two fire trucks in I Lot, the parking lot that is located right along University Drive when coming onto campus from Shepherd Grade Road, to go along with quite a few SUV’s that belonged the Shepherd University Police Department. Both exits into the lot were blocked off, restricting access to the parking lot.
“When the alarm goes off, students need to get out. We had to clear the building, there were still residents on the second floor when we got here,” EMS Chief Marshall DeMeritt of the Shepherdstown Volunteer Fire Department said. DeMeritt emphasized the need for students to evacuate the building as soon as possible. “It’s why the school has fire drills. We ventilated the smoke. All will be fine,” the EMS Chief would add.
Around 5:30 p.m., residents were able to return to Dunlop Hall.
Senior basketball player Jimyse Brown said, “I did not smell anything. We did see smoke in the hallway when we left the room.” Brown laughed and said, “I thought it was our smoke detector going off to honest. It went off last night when we were making bologna.”
Jared Lamb of 300 in Printz Hall said, “Back in October, our smoke detector went off when we were frying bacon. The smoke rose, as usual, and caused the detector to go crazy. It was so embarrassing. Didn’t even enjoy the bacon. We pay lots of money to live on campus; I am glad it wasn’t our fault this time,” he said.