Fire in Loyola dorm forces students to relocate

Studnt Audrey Bailey was forced to temporaily move out of Baumhart Hall because of a fire.Photo by Anna Buchanan

Audrey Bailey was forced to move out of her Baumhart Hall room because of a fire.
Photo by Anna Buchanan

By Anna Buchanan

What’s cookin’?

That’s what students in Loyola University Chicago’s Baumhart Hall dorm were asking when they were forced to evacuate because of a kitchen fire.

Some students are still locked out of their rooms because of water damage caused by the sprinkler system. They’ve been relocated to vacant Conference Services units in the same building.

The fire started at about 12:30 a.m. Sunday inside the Water Tower Campus dorm. A small grease fire was set off inside a student’s apartment, causing the evacuation of the building, officials said.

“I don’t know what was being cooked or if it was being properly cooked, but my main focus has been on the fire setting off the sprinklers, that nobody got hurt, and on trying to relocate everyone” said Andrew Naylor, the Associate Director for Housing Operations.

While many students were frustrated and angry that they had to abandon their rooms early in the morning, some were glad that the fire alarm alerted them to the dangerous situation.

“I was in bed reading a book when I heard the alarm. It took me a few seconds to realize it was the fire alarm,” said Courtney Griffin, 20, a sophomore journalism major. “It was an inconvenient time but I’m still glad that the alarm went off for a real fire.”

Other students were understanding of the situation when they noticed fire trucks lined up on the street.

“I was unsure at first with what was happening. I assumed that it wasn’t a big deal. Now I know not to take the fire alarm lightly,” said Mary-Michael Lindsey, 20, a sophomore advertising and PR major.

Students headed to Corboy Law Center across the street, where the wait lasted for nearly two hours.

“We stood outside for up to two hours. My friend and I went to Corboy to wait. Around eight firetrucks were lined up so we knew it was a real fire,” said Audrey Bailey, 20, a sophomore journalism major with a double minor in dance and psychology.

The fire also caused water damage from the sprinkler system. The primary floors that were heavily impacted were 10-13 with water even dripping all the way down to floor seven.  As a result, rooms have been emptied of all possessions and some students have been relocated to vacant Conference Services units. Students are frustrated about this new turn of events.

“I was super frustrated,” said Jessica Rhyan, 20, a sophomore criminal justice major. “I had to clear out really quickly in super short notice. I skipped all my classes to pack and my mom skipped work to help. We were waiting for the elevators for 25 minutes because they were running slow.”

While many remain frustrated, there are other students who are trying to remain optimistic about their new living arrangements.

“It was back luck on my relocation but I can’t be to upset because no one got hurt. I have friends to help me but it is frustrating because it is near the end of the week and I am busy but it is only for two weeks,” said Bailey.

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