Upper West Kitchen Fire Leaves Residents Displaced

By Kenneth Guillaume

Fire alarms were triggered on Monday, November 27 at approximately 7:15 p.m. in the T-block of housing in Upper West Cedar, requiring the response of three fire engines and a large number of firefighters from the Fairview Fire District. However, this alarm was not a drill.

A large fire was supposedly caused by an unattended stove in the kitchen of T-3. Fortunately, firefighters were able to successfully contain and eliminate the strong blaze. No injuries were reported.

A Marist security official stated that the large number of responding crews was normal for a situation located in this area.

Sophomore John Port, a resident of T-1, witnessed the fire firsthand. “I was shocked to say the least—it was kind of surreal in the moment,” said Port. “You always have in the back of your mind that things like this can happen, but never necessarily see them happen.”

Port feels that this was a wakeup call for college students to be more aware of their stove-tops.

The students of T-3 in Upper West Cedar will not be allowed into their townhouse until it is cleaned, and safety is ensured – requiring relocation for an undetermined amount of time.

Sophomore Ethan Carpenter, resident of T-3, stays hopeful about being able to move back in come spring semester, but the actual timeline is unknown. “The hope is that they will be done with T-3 by the start of the spring semester, but the real date of when they will be finished is unknown.”

The residents of T-3 will be allowed, briefly, into the house in the following days with the mandatory accompaniment of a security official to claim belongings that are necessary for the following weeks of school. The director of security noted that all locks will have to be changed and the kitchen will need extensive repairs.


Photo taken by Owen Polzello

Photo taken by Owen Polzello

“That’s when it kind of set in as being real,” Carpenter said when he saw the condition of his belongings after the fire. “Everything inside smelled like smoke and had a layer of soot on it.”

Residents of T-3 are still in the process of cleaning all of their belongings.

Cleaning crews were dispatched to the two townhouses on either side of T-3 due to water damage caused by the extinguishing of the fire. Neighboring residents have subsequently been allowed back into their residencies as no further action or relocation is needed.

The official press release of the Fairview Fire District can be read here.