Main Street Condo Fire Displaces Students

Paul carbonella

On Saturday Oct. 17, the Main Street Condominiums complex erupted with panic as black smoke poured from one apartment. The apartment, which housed four unnamed undergraduates, sustained smoke damage throughout its interior and “substantial” fire damage in its kitchen according to Fire Marshall Keith Flood, who was put in charge with the investigation.

“As of now, the fire was accidental in nature and originated in the microwave,” he said. “The cause was an undetermined malfunction inside the microwave.”

Marshall Flood and Dean of Students, Rebecca Johnson also confirmed that none of the four students were home at the time of the incident, and nobody was injured. None of the surrounding condominiums sustained any damage.

The Main Street complex in West Haven features 14 condominium units and houses up to 56 junior and senior undergraduate students every year. This is the first incident of its kind in the complex.

“When I heard one of the apartments had caught fire, I started to panic a little. But I calmed down when the Fire Department arrived and just hoped the people who lived there were okay,” said one student, who chose not to disclose his name.

The first responders to the scene were the West Haven Fire Department Center District unit, with Captain William Stacy in command, and the University of New Haven’s own Officer Onoria Sierra, who works with the Campus Police Department.

The Office of Residential Life also confirmed in an e-mail that the four students were given on-campus housing in the interim. Additionally, they were granted their request to continue living together at their new housing. As of now, it is unclear whether the unit will undergo the appropriate repairs by the end of the academic year, or if the four students affected will be able to move into another off-campus apartment complex.

Some UNH students have also donated living items to the four students as many personal items, including kitchen equipment, were destroyed during the fire. Other students who wish to donate items may contact the office of Residential Life.