Fire Breaks Out At Dinallo Heights

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Published December 11, 2021
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The Montclarion
A fire truck outside the front entrance of Dinallo Heights. John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Frequent fire drill training was put to good use as a fire broke out on the third floor of Einstein Hall in Dinallo Heights on Friday, Dec. 10, prompting a large police and firefighter response.

Two individuals were transported to local hospitals, according to university spokesperson Andrew Mees. A student was transported to Mountainside Hospital in Montclair, New Jersey for shortness of breath. A university police officer was transported to Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Paterson, New Jersey for smoke inhalation.

A fire truck at the south side of Dinallo Heights, outside Car Parc Diem. Megan Lim | The Montclarion

A fire truck at the south side of Dinallo Heights, outside Car Parc Diem.
Megan Lim | The Montclarion

At approximately 4:38 p.m., students received an alert that a fire had broken out in Dinallo Heights and that the fire department was at the scene.

Fire fighters had pried the window open and set up a fan to help get smoke out of the third floor of Einstein Hall. John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Fire fighters had pried the window open and set up a fan to help get smoke out of the third floor of Einstein Hall.
John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Students watched as firefighters pried a window open to get smoke out of the hallway. Responders then installed a fan in the open window to help blow the smoke out of the building.

Residents of Dinallo Heights were told to wait outside for “one to three hours” as the situation was handled.

Alaina Rogers, a freshman psychology major, thinks students shouldn't be left in the dark in serious matters like this. John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Alaina Rogers, a freshman psychology major, thinks students shouldn’t be left in the dark in serious matters.
John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Alaina Rogers, a freshman psychology major, said there needs to be more communication when it comes to these situations

“It kind of seems like the RAs have no idea what they’re doing,” Rogers said. “They’re trying to force people to move back, but at the same time, they’re only given so much information.”

Several fire trucks and police vehicles lined up down Yogi Berra Drive. John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Several fire trucks and police vehicles lined up down Yogi Berra Drive.
John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Rogers also feels that the RAs are kept in the dark when it comes to circumstances like this.

“Whoever is in charge of the fire [department] needs to inform [RAs] right away. We need to know what to do,” Rogers said. “They never seem to know if it is a [real] fire or a drill.”

Grace Lang, a junior political science and philosophy major, was annoyed with the frequency of fire drills at Dinallo Heights. John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Grace Lang, a junior political science and philosophy major, spoke on the frequency of fire drills at Dinallo Heights.
John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Grace Lang, a junior political science and philosophy major, spoke about the frequency of fire drills at Dinallo Heights.

“Oh my [gosh], it’s like literally every week,” Lang said. “Since we came to campus, [fire drills] have happened at least 10 or 12 times.”

Carpet that got wet from the sprinkler system going off. Megan Lim | The Montclarion

The sprinkler system went off in response to the fire.
Megan Lim | The Montclarion

The building is still being assessed for water damage due to the sprinkler system going off in the hallway, leaving many of the rugs and exit stairs soaking wet. Black soot was further seen on a window at the end of the hallway in Einstein Hall.

Montclair Emergency Medical Services (EMS) members waiting outside Dinallo Heights as police helped evaluate damages. John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Montclair Emergency Medical Services (EMS) members wait outside Dinallo Heights as police help evaluate damages.
John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Most students were cleared to return to their dorms by 6:00 p.m., though some residents were temporarily moved to Stone Hall, according to Mees.

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