Mississippi State University Dorm Fire Displaces 200

October 7, 2014

Part of a Mississippi State University dormitory remained closed Monday following a Sunday fire.

MSU spokesman Sid Salter said at least 27 rooms could be uninhabitable for an extended period.

No injuries were reported, but more than 150 female students stayed elsewhere overnight after a fire began around 8 p.m. in one wing of the dormitory.

Salter said 73 students stayed in a campus hotel, two in on-campus guest housing and 64 stayed off campus. University shuttles were being used to transport displaced students Monday morning.

“We’re actively engaged in doing everything possible to help these students deal with this very stressful event,” President Mark Keenum said in a Sunday statement. He said the university will seek permanent housing for the students and will offer them excused absences from classes, if necessary.

Fourth-floor residents remained in their rooms after the fire was extinguished.

MSU Vice President of Student Affairs Bill Broyles said the fire on the third story of the four-story building appears to have been caused by a candle burning in one of the rooms. Lit candles are against the rules in MSU dorms.

The dorm suffered water damage from its sprinkler system, in addition to smoke and fire damage. Officials estimate that there’s $150,000 in interior building damage, and that the university could lose $500,000 in student housing payments.

“The fire suppression system engaged in Oak Hall exactly as it was designed to do,” Broyles said in a statement. “We’re grateful to be able to report that we had no injuries.”

Opened in 2012, Oak Hall’s double rooms hold up to 382 students.

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