November 3, 2012

Fire Evacuates North Campus Apartment Complex

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A fire in the bottom floor of a North Campus apartment complex caused the building to be evacuated Sunday morning, leaving dozens of Cornellians out in the cold but nobody seriously injured, according to emergency responders.

The fire appeared to have been started in one of the dryers at the Highland House Apartments, located at 312 Thurston Ave., Ithaca Fire Chief Tom Parsons ’82 said. Although building residents reported that heavy smoke reached the second and third floors of the apartment complex, Parsons said he believes the fire was contained to the laundry room.

“When we arrived on scene we saw heavy smoke coming from the first front door … it appears everyone got out, everybody’s okay, but there appears to be a lot of damage to the laundry room area,” Parsons said. “I think [the fire] stayed in and around the dryer.”

A TCAT bus arrived on scene at about 11:15 a.m. to transport students away from the building, but Parsons was optimistic the residents would be able to move back in on Sunday.Sarah Liscia ’14 said she was studying when she heard the fire alarm go off this morning.“I thought it was the apartment next door cooking, and then I started getting nervous,” said Liscia, who added she went to wake up her friend Abigail Brown ’14. “I started to hear smoke so I opened the door and it was billowing in …. I ran and said Abbie, wake up, there’s a fire!”Brown was grateful.“She didn’t let me die; she’s amazing; she’s my hero,” Brown said of Liscia.

Original Author: Jeff Stein