Just half an hour into a senior week event at Toad’s Place Saturday night, a fog machine on the ceiling of the nightclub caught fire.
The “Yale Seniors Final Saturday Dance Party” event was cut short by several hours after bouncers ordered seniors and their families to evacuate the venue around 11:35 p.m. Students present at the time said they could see a fire had ignited on the ends of black steel ceiling pipes above the dance floor. But the fire lasted less than a minute, as club employees immediately extinguished the flames, club owner Brian Phelps said.
“[The fire] wasn’t a big deal,” Phelps said. “The biggest deal is that when the fire extinguisher came it filled the room with the whole soot.”
Phelps added that the sparse attendance at the time helped the club resolve the issue quickly.
Still, for students present, the short fire marked an unforgettable end to senior week.
“It was super smokey and smelled like burning rubber,” Chareeni Kurukulasariya ’16 said.
Kurukulasuriya said she and her friends stood outside chuckling at the fact that the infamous nightclub — the site of four years of memories — had caught on fire. Several students cracked jokes about the fire on social media, while parents and students stood on York Street outside the venue after being made to leave.
Neither the New Haven Police Department nor the Fire Department could be reached for comment.