A fire caused damage on a wing of the third floor of Oak Hall last night around 9:55 p.m., due to what is believed to be an electrical fire. Oak Hall is located on the south end of Mississippi State University’s campus.
The fire damaged one room, while water ruined approximately 30 rooms when the fire suppression system was triggered. However, there were no injuries.
Although there has been no official ruling from a fire marshal, school officials stated they think it started when a student plugged something into the wall and sparks flew out onto bed linens, causing a fire.
MSU President Mark Keenum went to speak to Oak Hall residents following the incident. In a video posted on Twitter by Chief Communications Officer Sid Salter, Keenum explained the situation.
“One of your classmates, when they were plugging something in the wall, and a spark came out on her bed and caught her bed on fire,” Keenum told residents. “Isn’t that scary? But she’s very smart and she notified the RA.”
According to an MSU press release, when the fire began, a student pulled the fire alarm and notified MSU Housing and Residence Life officials, triggering responses from local emergency officials and the MSU Crisis Action Team. Following university protocol, the building was promptly evacuated. Students whose rooms were not impacted by fire or water, returned to their rooms Sunday night.
Approximately 60 students were impacted by the fire, and university officials said they have provided and will continue to provide accommodations for those students. Those accommodations include temporary housing at a local hotel, as well as academic and parking accommodations.
Keenum told residents the university would do everything in its power to help students deal with the challenge.
“We are fully committed to helping those impacted by this fire in anyway we can,” Keenum said. “The safety of our MSU family is a top priority, and I am grateful that nobody was hurt during this incident. I would like to thank the students, staff and emergency officials involved for their efforts in minimizing the harm caused by this fire.”
This is not the first fire to occur on the third floor of Oak Hall. In 2014, a burning candle caused a sofa to catch fire in room A-309. The fire was not large, but much smoke was generated, and almost 200 students were initially displaced.