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Altus College Dorm Fire Displaces Several Students

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ALTUS Okla_ A fire broke out in a dormitory at Western Oklahoma State College in Altus this morning with students still inside.

It happened on the 2nd floor of a two-story building on the west side of the campus a little before 9:30 AM. School officials say a student living in the room where the fire sparked had just turned on an electrical heater. Not too long after that, they smelled smoke and called for help. Luckily, no one was hurt.

School officials said there were two students in each of the two rooms where the fire occurred, but fire officials did evacuate the entire dorm. Fire officials said it was started by some electrical wiring in the attic. They said the design of the building helped contain the fire to those two rooms.

Black trash bins, a blue tarp and several brooms sit outside the dorm rooms now; they're being used to clean up after the fire. Altus Fire Chief Jerry Abbot said he and his crew arrived about a minute after the initial call for help.

"We started getting the students out of there," Abbot said. "There was actually one student still asleep in his room, even though the alarms were going off."

He said once everyone was evacuated safely, fire crews proceeded to fight the blaze.

"We pulled the ceilings in the two rooms to get to the fire," Abbot said. "There was a little bit of damage. We did use salvage cover to cover up and remove all the damage that we could."

Abbot said the fire started in the ceiling space of room 202 and spread that of 201, but he said the fire was stopped by both fire walls on each side of the rooms. He said that kept things from getting worse.

"If the fire had gone very much longer, it could have spread," Abbot said. "The ceilings could have dropped down and actually gotten in the rooms and started fires there."

School officials said the four students living in the damaged rooms have been moved to other rooms at the dorm for the time being. As for the other students living in the dormitory, they have been able to go back to their living areas.

Chief Abbot estimates the fire caused about $210,000 in damage.

 

 

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