UNC relocates 380 students overnight after fire damages dorm

From staff reportsNovember 5, 2013 

— UNC Student Housing was relocating 380 students Tuesday night after a fire in the attic insulation of Cobb Residence Hall on campus damaged part of the northwest end of the building’s center section.

The fire was reported at approximately 5 p.m. and flames were no longer visible by 6 p.m. according to Chapel Hill Fire Chief Dan Jones. Fire and smoke damage were limited to the attic and the section of the fourth floor directly below the fire.

No one was injured in the blaze, Jones said.

UNC Student Housing was temporarily relocating the 380 residents of the dormitory for Tuesday night, according to Susan Hudson of UNC News Services. Most students, except those living in the northwest section, should be able to move back in sometime Wednesday, officials said.

The four-story brick dormitory, built in 1952 and renovated in 2005, houses 400 people and has smoke detectors and alarms.

UNC sophomore Jimmy Xu, 19, said he and his roommates fled their fourth-floor room when the fire alarm sounded, leaving everything behind.

He didn’t notice anything unusual inside the dorm, but once they got outside, Xu said they saw smoke coming from the building’s chimney.

Xu watched firefighters work from the nearby Cobb Parking Deck, along with several dozen other students and onlookers. He should have grabbed his laptop and textbooks, he said, and hopes the university has fire insurance on student property.

“That would be the responsible thing to do,” Xu said.

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