On Thursday night, Geneseo and Avon fire departments responded to a fire in the fourth floor kitchen of Putnam residence hall. No one was injured.
At approximately 8:20 p.m., the hall conducted a routine fire drill. Fire chief Frank Manzo confirmed that the cause of the fire was cooking left unattended on the kitchen stove by residents who evacuated the building after the first alarm.
According to junior Katy Arroya, the Putnam residence assistant on duty, the second fire alarm sounded within minutes of residents returning to the hall after the first alarm. According to Arroya, students did not immediately evacuate because they thought the second alarm was the result of a glitch in the alarm system. Fire trucks and ambulances arrived on campus within ten minutes of the second alarm.
Manzo said that the spread of the fire was curbed by University Police attacking it with fire extinguishers and by the sprinkler system, which was activated in the kitchen. Although the fire was contained to the kitchen area, some of the rooms did suffer smoke and water damage.
"We were all kind of concerned about sprinklers," said senior Sarah Suhadolnik, a Putnam resident.
Dean of Students Lenny Sancilio said he was pleased that the fire detection and prevention systems all worked efficiently. He said that he believed students whose rooms were damaged would have to check their homeowner's insurance plans or consider purchasing renter's insurance to pay for the damages. "Unless the school was at fault ... the damage would not be covered by the school," he said.
At approximately 11:30 pm on Thursday, Sancilio sent out an e-mail to all students that read, "A great tragedy was averted tonight".