Hatchet Video: Fire Erupts in Schenley
Saturday, May 5, 12:25 a.m., updated 2:16 a.m.
An air conditioner erupted in flames in a second floor room of Schenley Hall at about 9:30 p.m. Friday leaving no injuries, a D.C. Fire Department spokesperson said.
The sophomore residents of the room – which sustained significant fire damage – said they were not present when the fire started. Witnesses on the scene said they saw flames and thick smoke billowing from a second floor window. University Police Department officers responded several minutes later, followed by the D.C. Fire Department.
“I could smell it right away and we knew it wasn’t a drill,” said sophomore Lindsay Rosenwald, who lives in Schenley.
Some residents on the upper floors said they had difficulty hearing the fire alarm.
“The alarm sounded but we really couldn’t hear it,” said sophomore Pedro Feliciano, who lives on the seventh floor. “We were running down from the fourth floor and we smelled smoke.”
Schenley Hall has eight floors and about 172 sophomore residents. Hundreds of students crowded across the street in Kogan Plaza as the fire alarm blared. Many of the students were evacuated through the basement entrance.
“Kids were directed through the basement because the front exit was so dangerous,” Rosenwald said. “Things were falling off as firemen were hacking into the building.”
Schenley residents of the first three floors were told to report to the concierge desk in the Marvin Center to tell University officials whether or not they had a place to stay for the evening.
University spokesperson Tracy Schario said the residents of the upper floors may be allowed to return to their rooms Friday night.
She said, “The students who have damage in their rooms will be relocated and the expectation is the building may be reoccupied, but I don’t have a time.”
– Tim Gowa, Danielle Meister, Simone Perez, Eric Roper and Sarah Scire contributed to this report.