Thurston residents evacuate to Marvin Center after third-floor fire

Media Credit: Arielle Bader | Assistant Photo Editor

D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services personnel responded to a minor fire that activated the sprinkler system in Thurston Hall Friday night.

Thurston Hall residents evacuated Friday night after a small fire broke out on the third floor.

University spokeswoman Crystal Nosal said a “minor” fire occurred on the hall’s third floor at about 9:45 p.m., activating a sprinkler system. Nosal said residents were evacuated to Marvin Center and will be let back in to Thurston when the water has been cleaned up.

A GW Alert sent out at about 12:20 a.m. Saturday stated that Thurston Hall was temporarily closed, and Thurston residents should check their emails for updates about when they will be let back into the hall.

An advisory posted at about 12:21 a.m. Saturday stated that water percolated into the third floor hallway and floors below, but officials will begin to clean the area tonight.

“Students can get to rooms for essential items such as medicine,” the advisory states. “Residential life is reaching out to residents with specific information. More to follow.”

D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services spokesman Vito Maggiolo said approximately eight engines responded to Thurston Hall at about 9:28 p.m. for a report of a possible fire in Room 305.

Maggiolo said the fire was extinguished by the time D.C. FEMS personnel arrived. He said a short circuit might have activated the sprinkler system, but fire investigators will ultimately determine the cause.

Maggiolo said the room’s occupant – who was safely evacuated from the building – declined medical treatment and said the short circuit may have occurred near the top of the room’s refrigerator.

He said a “significant amount of water” from the sprinkler system affected many rooms in the residence hall, but he does not know which rooms were impacted.

“We are in the process of turning off the system,” Maggiolo said.

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