Fire at Hudson Hall prompts evacuation

Basi said about 25 rooms in the first three levels have suffered water damage.

Residents of Hudson Hall were evacuated early Sunday in response to a fire that reportedly started in room 337.

According to a Columbia Fire Department news release, all residents were evacuated and no injuries were reported.

“The evacuation went on for between 1 and 2 hours,”MU spokesman Christian Basi said. “The students were moved to a climate-controlled location so they weren’t outside in the cold.”

Columbia fire personnel were initially dispatched at 1:51 a.m. in response to a “water flow alarm.” The call was upgraded to a “structural fire” response at 1:52 a.m.

Fourth floor resident Rachael Miller said she heard the incident was sparked by an electrical fire.

Assistant Fire Marshall Brian Davidson is currently investigating the incident and has not released the official cause of the incident or an estimate of the damage at this time, according to the release.

An MU news release said the building’s sprinkler system contained the fire within the room of origin, but caused water damage in parts of the building.

“About 25 rooms within the first 3 floors were affected by water damage,” Basi said. “The residential life staff responded quickly so those rooms are still liveable.”

Some residents’ personal belongings were damaged by the water.

Basi said the Department of Residential Life staff are taking an inventory of the damage incurred to repair or replace items, and have already taken steps to alleviate some of the damage.

“The residential staff actually paid for laundering sheets and clothes that got wet during the incident and got them back to the residents in a timely manner,” he said.

Third floor resident Zach Shikles said he lives in a separate wing of the floor so his room was spared from the water damage.

However, Shikles said some of his peers were not as lucky.

“By the time the fire department got there, the water had flooded a good portion of the wing and leaked down to the second and first floors as well,” he said.

Basi said the room where the fire started suffered water and smoke damage and is currently not in a liveable condition.

Basi said ResLife staff have worked with the residents affected to find temporary residence.

In response to a student’s critical tweet, Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin said on Twitter that he is grateful no injuries were reported from the fire.

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