A candle started a fire of the third floor of the four-story Oak Hall dormitory, on the campus of Mississippi State University last night (10/5/14) around 8 p.m. The dormitory, opened in 2012, holds 382 students co-ed students. The fire activated the fire suppression system in the building and no injuries were reported. The fire was declared as contained by 8:33 p.m.; however, according to the University spokesperson Sid Salter, sprinklers activated for a longer period of time than expected, causing additional water damage. In addition to the extensive water damage, the building experienced smoke and fire damage. Damage to the interior of the building is estimated to be $150,000.00 and the University stands to lose $500,000 in student housing payments. 27 of the rooms in the building, located within the female wing, will be uninhabitable for an extended period of time. The 198 displaced students will be assigned to alternate housing within the university, according to a press release. Academic allowances, in the form of excused absences, are being provided by the University, according to University President Mark Keenum. It is worth noting that candles are prohibited by Mississippi State University.
“The Center for Campus Fire Safety wants to point out the necessity of fire sprinkler systems,” said Paul D. Martin, President of The Center for Campus Fire Safety. “To have residence halls without fire sprinklers today should be unacceptable to parents,” said Martin. Fire Sprinklers protect people and structures. Most people don’t realize that eight out of 10 fire deaths occur at night when everyone is asleep. Fires are also fast; they can go from a tiny flame to total destruction in as little as three minutes. Fire sprinklers can suppress and often extinguish a fire before the fire department arrives, providing additional time to escape.
88 fatal fires have been documented that occurred on a college campus, in Greek housing or in off-campus housing within three-miles of the campus–claiming a total of 125 victims.
- 75 fires have occurred in off-campus housing claiming 106 victims
- 7 fires have occurred in on-campus building or residence halls claiming 9 victims
- 6 fires have occurred in Greek housing claiming 10 victims
CCFS has been documenting specific campus related fires deaths since Year 2000. Current and more detailed statistics, along with the definition of how we define “campus related fires” are always posted on the Web site, along with a host of fire safety resources and tips for fire safety professionals as well as students in both universities and off-campus housing. One of the resources includes a daily and ongoing listing of other fire incidents in the higher education arena.
To learn more about CCFS and its programs, visit www.campusfiresafety.org.
For additional information:
Fire Fatality Statistics and Definition:
Continual e-news -campus fire & safety:
Campus Fire Safety Resources: http://www.campusfiresafety.org/resources