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.
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.
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, 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.”
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, 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.”
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.
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.