(UPDATE: The official cause of a small fire that happened early Saturday morning at Grace College’s Alpha Hall, has been determined. The fire was ruled accidental and is believed to have started as a result of a lamp being coved by a shirt that one of the residents had been wearing that morning. When the resident noticed the shirt was smoldering, she threw it into the desk drawer as she was leaving. The shirt continued to smolder and eventually involved other articles of clothing that were in the desk drawer. The fire was contained to the desk.)
Crews from the Winona Lake Fire Department responded to Grace College’s Alpha Hall this morning where a fire alarm sounded in response to visible smoke. In the video above, the fire alarm at Alpha Hall is audible, even more than an hour after it initially sounded.A member of Squad 70, the county’s fire investigation team, was also called in, along with medics from Multi-Township EMS.
All students from the residence hall were evacuated about at 8 a.m. Approximately five students were treated for minor smoke inhalation at the scene. Bob Weaver of the Kosciusko County Health Department was also called to investigate.
According to Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Deputy Chris Rager, a smoldering fire was located in one of the resident’s rooms, and he believed it was located in and contained to a desk. Squad 70 investigator Gordon Baker has not yet released an official cause.
According to information provided by the Grace College website, Alpha Hall is made up of six halls on three floors. Rooms in Alpha house two women each and are “suite” style with two rooms sharing a bathroom that is situated between them. There are approximately 230 female students who reside in Alpha Hall.
As of approximately 10:45 a.m., students were being allowed back into the hall.