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November 28, 2023

Fire flares in Charles Commons, extensive water damage

By BEN SCHWARTZ | October 3, 2013

A fire in Charles Commons forced a building-wide evacuation of the residence hall shortly after 7 p.m. last night. A University spokesperson said that to her knowledge no one was hurt in the fire, which appeared to have begun in suite 927 on the ninth floor facing 33rd Street near the corner of 33rd and Charles Street.

Tracey A. Reeves, the University spokesperson, confirmed that the fire was caused by a cigarette, which came into contact with a mattress. Smoking is prohibited inside all Hopkins buildings and facilities.

“I saw billowing smoke come from the ninth floor window. There was a lot of smoke and then once the firefighters came, it kind of disappeared,” sophomore Brett Brodsky said.

Streams of water could be seen running down the side of the building as the sprinklers were activated.

“On the scene units found a fire in an apartment that had been suppressed,” Ian Brennan, a Baltimore City Fire Department spokesperson, wrote in an email to The News-Letter. “No injuries to report at this time.”

Firefighters worked from inside the building to survey the area where the fire broke out.

“I was coming out of Chipotle and there were guys going through the rooms on the ninth floor with flashlights,” junior Louis Foxwell said.

The Baltimore Police and Fire departments were on the scene shortly after the fire broke out, and at least four fire trucks responded to the alarm.

Reeves said the sprinklers and alarms functioned properly and that the police and fire departments left the scene shortly after 8 p.m. She said there was smoke and water damage inside the building and the University is actively managing the situation.

The SGA Executive Board purchased approximately 900 ice cream bars for the sophomores that had to evacuate the residence hall.

“We want to let the school know we are here for them especially in times of crisis,” Kyra Toomre, executive secretary of SGA, said. “We plan on helping the sophomores however we can.”

“A large percentage of sophomores live in [Charles] Commons and some personal belongings may be damaged and unusable [sic]. We are here to act as a liaison with the administration and will try to help to the best of our abilities. Get in contact with us if you need help,” Toomre added.

Residents were not allowed back into the residence hall until late Wednesday evening.

“I’m glad for the quick response time and I think the University handled it as well as possible. I’m just glad that everyone is safe,” Alex Koren, president of the sophomore class, said.

Editor’s Note: This is a developing story, and it will be updated as more information becomes available.

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