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Saturday, May 25, 2024
The Observer

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Fire breaks out in O’Neill Family Hall

Several emergency alert phone calls informed campus Thursday evening of a fire at “insert location,” an apparent failure of the NDAlert system. The fire broke out on the ‘B’ side of the second floor of O’Neill Hall, and residents were evacuated as firefighters entered the building and could be seen searching rooms.

Students were alerted of the fire via text message, email and phone calls around 10:13 p.m. Nine minutes later, students received texts informing them the fire was out.

An Instagram story announcement on the University’s official page clarified the incident.

The announcement said, “While there was a minor fire at [O’Neill Family Hall], the incident was quickly extinguished. There were no injuries. A small group of residents will be temporarily relocated.”

Sophomore O’Neill Hall resident Travers Mason said he was walking through the hallway after grabbing his coat to go outside when he saw smoke coming from a dorm room.

“There was smoke leaking from above and below the door,” Mason said. “It looked like smoke. You could smell it. It looked like the color of crude oil, like a black smoke.”

As students stood outside of O’Neill Family Hall, a fire department official reminded students of the fire alarm’s importance.

“These fire alarms are serious. Tonight proves that,” he told residents. “When the fire alarm goes off in the building, you leave whether you think it’s safe or not.”

With a cascade of fire trucks still present, many residents moved en masse to the Huddle while awaiting reentry to the building, while a small crowd of students in neighboring dorms came out to observe the chaos. O’Neill Hall rector Fr. Mike Ryan declined to comment.