Fire at Cal Poly dorm leads to evacuation

Electrical short sets fire to mattress, but no one is hurt

kleslie@thetribunenews.comNovember 3, 2013 

More than 100 students were evacuated from a Cal Poly residence hall Sunday after an overloaded circuit sparked an electrical fire in one of the building’s rooms. No one was reported injured.
 
An electrical circuit connecting three third-floor rooms in Sequoia Hall shorted out sometime before 4 p.m. Sunday, resulting in sparks and a mattress in one of the rooms catching on fire, San Luis Obispo City Fire Battalion Chief Neal Berryman said.
 
When they arrived on scene, firefighters partly extinguished the fire on the mattress before pushing it out the room’s window, Berryman said.
 
Once out the window, crews were able to fully extinguish the flames.
 
The Cal Poly University Police Department and SLO City Fire evacuated somewhere between 100 and 200 of the building’s residents during the incident, Berryman said.
 
As of 5 p.m., most students were allowed back into the building.
 
Electricity was not restored to the three-room circuit affected by the fire, however, and those room’s residents have been provided with other living arrangements until repairs are made, Berryman said.
 
“Cal Poly is really good about taking care of their students in these sorts of situations,” Berryman said.
 
The university is now investigating whether the fire was the fault of students or faulty wiring in the building, Berryman said.
 
Damage was estimated at $1,000.

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