Breaking: Minor Fire at Dana Prompts Five-Truck Response


Drew Kaplan '20, Associate Opinion Editor

Firetrucks rushed to Dana Hall last night after receiving a call around 12:55 a.m. when smoke was reported in the building, according to John Quirk, Deputy Chief of the Union Fire Company.

Numerous fire trucks were dispatched to the scene, and the intersection of Louther and College Streets was closed to facilitate firefighting.

Captain Michael Guido of the Department of Public Safety (DPS) said on the scene that “preliminary reports said that there was a fire inside of a kiln.” Guido said that, when the first reports came in, Officer Michael Rugh and Corporal Alan Mace were dispatched to the scene.

“I’m not sure if the fire alarm came in or if someone smelled smoke but I’m assuming we got some sort of an alarm. When we came over, we saw smoke, weren’t sure of the origin, tried to check it out and couldn’t figure it out right away, so they dispatched the fire company,” stated Guido. “…As soon as the fire company came here, they saw the smoke.”

Guido said that the heavy response, upwards of five firetrucks, along with police cars and an ambulance, was out of an abundance of caution, rather than necessity.

“Because they weren’t necessarily sure of the origin, they weren’t really sure about how severe it was. County control dispatched two separate units. This was just a response that we did based on the way the borough fire companies react. Once they saw smoke, because they weren’t sure what they were going to get, they called in the troops, and then they didn’t need it.”

Captain Guido reported that, while how the fire began is currently unknown, the fire did not extend beyond the interior of the kiln. “That big box down there got real hot. I don’t know if they left something in it by accident, if it was supposed to bake overnight and malfunctioned, I don’t know if it was in there and they forgot to turn it off. I don’t know.” Guido said that the building would need to be aired out due to the smoke, although the fire was minor. “At no time was anyone in any kind of danger.”

Some students expressed concern regarding the incident. Aya Salim ’20, said “We came around the corner and saw all of this. I was like, oh s**t. I was curious, but I thought it was dangerous.”

Following the incident at 2:42 a.m., Chief of Public Safety Dee Danser sent an email to the Dickinson community affirming that the fire was in the lower level of Dana.

“The Fire Department was called to the scene and contained a small fire to Room Two, a classroom and lab. No one was in the building at the time,” the email reads.

Students who have classes in Dana will be contacted directly if classes have to be moved.