A fire broke out in the basement of Harrill Residence Hall this morning between 8:45 and 9 a.m.
According to the Jackson County Sheriff’s office, a 911 call reported the fire at 9:03 am. Eight fire trucks arrived on the scene including trucks from Sylva, Cullowhee, Savannah and Balsam fire departments. Emergency medical teams were also on scene.
Members of the construction crew have confirmed that the fire started in the basement of the residence hall. A crew member was reportedly cutting rebar and a spark caught the insulation on fire.
According to Dr. Sam Miller, vice chancellor for student affairs, the fire system that automatically notifies campus police and the fire department is offline due to the renovations to Harrill Residence Hall.
“In my four years here,” said Miller, “there has never been a construction fire like this. I think it is being handled well.”
Director of Residential Living Keith Corzine is currently working with the fire department and the construction company to assess the damages.
The fire and police departments are expected to stay on campus for a few hours in order to complete a full investigation.