Fire burns bedroom of TD annex

A room fire on the fourth floor of Rosenfeld Hall forced the evacuation of students Friday morning. No one was hurt in the incident and the fire was quickly contained.

The fire alarm went off at about 11:40 a.m., Rosenfeld Hall resident David Davis ’04 said. Firefighters arrived a few minutes later and extinguished the fire.

“I was in my room,” Davis said. “The hallway was filled with gray smoke so I went outside with everyone else.”

Davis said he could see black fire coming out of a fourth floor window as he left the building.

When they arrived on the scene, firefighters evacuated the Timothy Dwight College annex students who live in Rosenfeld Hall, New Haven Fire Chief Michael Grant said. They then searched the building for any remaining students.

Grant said the room’s smoke detectors and sprinklers kept the fire limited to that room.

“The sprinkler system did exactly what what it was supposed to do,” Grant said. “It prevented a tremendous amount of fire damage to the building.”

Firefighters dragged a hose into the room and completely extinguished the fire. Students said they could see water falling from the window of Rosenfeld Hall.

Timothy Dwight Master Robert Thompson said the fire could have been worse.

“The main thing is that no one was hurt,” Thompson said. “A building is a building.”

After the fire was put out, firefighters attempted to salvage anything they could in the room. Grant said there was moderate damage.

Both entrances to Rosenfeld Hall were closed for most of Friday afternoon, Raina Thiele ’05 said. Students were allowed back in their rooms on the fourth floor at about 4 p.m., Davis said. Thiele said she could still smell the smoke in the bottom floor of Rosenfeld Hall when she came back to her room.

The cause of the fire was not clear, Grant said Friday. Fire investigators were present at the scene to discover the fire’s source. Several Timothy Dwight students said they had heard the fire was caused by a candle burning in the room.

Though the fire was contained to a single room, several rooms suffered water damage from the building’s sprinkler system and the hoses of the firefighters. Laura U ’04, who lives across the hall from the room where the fire occurred, said the sprinkler system flooded her room while she was in class. Her room had no permanent damage, she said.

“[The water damage] was taken care of by the school,” U said. “They cleaned everything up.”

The intersection of Temple and Grove streets was closed for several hours Friday morning as five fire engines and several police cars dealt with the fire. Onlookers were originally pushed back as far as Hillhouse Avenue.

Firefighters unload equipment from their truck on Grove Street Friday. Fire engines and police cars rushed to the scene after a fire broke out in Rosenfeld Hall.
Stephanie Dziczek
Firefighters unload equipment from their truck on Grove Street Friday. Fire engines and police cars rushed to the scene after a fire broke out in Rosenfeld Hall.

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