Update on fire at Blumberg Hall

January 28 2008

Residence hall staff at Indiana State University are working to accommodate all students impacted by Sunday night’s fire at Blumberg Hall.

Students in the lower floors of the residence hall were allowed to return to their rooms overnight. Students on floors 10 and 11 of the 12-story structure will be relocated to other rooms within the university’s residence hall system for the remainder of the spring semester and roommates will be kept together, officials said Tuesday (Jan. 28). Information on room assignments will be provided during a meeting at 3:30 p.m. today in the first floor lounge of adjacent Cromwell Hall.

Students on floors 8, 9 and 12 will be provided temporary housing until the cleaning of their floors is completed. It is anticipated those students will be able to re-occupy their rooms on Wednesday. A meeting of those students is scheduled for 4:15 p.m. today, also in the first floor lounge of Cromwell Hall.

The university is providing affected students with free access to laundry facilities and is looking into other ways to assist them.

“Fortunately, our students and staff were quickly evacuated and no one was seriously injured. I would like to commend the students, residence hall staff, public safety officers and firefighters for the manner in which they responded. Their quick actions kept this situation from becoming more serious,” university President Lloyd W. Benjamin said.

A resident assistant and three emergency responders were treated for smoke inhalation and one student had a problem with an asthma attack, according to the university’s Office of Public Safety.

While the fire remains under investigation, preliminary indications are it was started by an unattended candle in an 11th floor room.

Blumberg Hall houses more than 400 freshmen students and university leaders have asked faculty to be aware of the impact the incident will have on students’ academic progress.

“Hopefully, everything will settle down in a day or two. However, it is to be expected that some assignments may not be completed on time or a student may not be focused on taking an exam for a day or two,” C. Jack Maynard, the university’s provost and vice president for academic affairs said.

“A few students have lost textbooks and other educational supplies. We are working quickly to replace their educational material. I ask that you work with your students to assist in working through this traumatic event,” Maynard said.

Contact: Teresa Exline, university spokesperson, Indiana State University, (812) 237-7783 or texline@indstate.edu

Writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Indiana State University, (812) 237-3743 or dave.taylor@indstate.edu

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Indiana State University residence hall staff are working to accomodate all students impacted by Sunday's fire at Blumberg Hall. Students residing on two floors of the 12-story structure will be relocated to other buildings for the remainder of the spring semester.

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