UMass Amherst fire causes dorm evacuation, displaces at least six

  • Kaylan Vazquez reaches to shut the door of the fire truck after getting a call to check out a set off fire alarm at High Horse Brewery Wednesday, July 13, 2016 in Amherst.

Staff Writer
Published: 3/1/2020 11:41:07 PM

AMHERST — At least six University of Massachusetts students have been displaced following a fire that started in their dorm early Friday morning. 

Assistant Fire Chief Lindsay Stromgren said firefighters responded to Maple Hall in the Commonwealth Honors College around 3:30 a.m. for an alarm. Soon after, the department received reports of smoke on the second floor, he said.

Stromgren said the fire started on a wooden bookcase in a student’s bedroom. The young woman woke up to the fire alarm and left the building, and the sprinkler system controlled the fire until firefighters arrived, Stromgren said. 

The entire dorm was evacuated for three hours, except for the second floor, which students were not allowed to re-enter for an even longer period of time due to water mitigation, Stromgren said. Students were brought to the nearby Roots Cafe during the evacuation to keep warm, he said.

At least six people who lived in the suite in which the fire started have been displaced indefinitely, Stromgren said.

“UMass is making arrangements for them,” he said.

Amherst fire investigators and the state fire marshal’s office are investigating the fire, Stromgren said. It is believed the fire was unintentional and accidental, he said, and no one was hurt.

Michael Connors can be reached at 

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