A small trash can fire broke out in River Hall, causing water damage to students’ property.  

A small trash can fire occurred in River Hall at 5:15 pm on Tuesday, according to an email sent by Columbia Housing to River residents later that evening. The full email can be read below.

According to the email, the fire began in “a common area of the building” and triggered the sprinkler system, which caused water damage to students’ belongings. An anonymous source stated that the fire started in the Muslim House of River Hall when a student threw a match into a bin of paper towels, which then caught on fire, with a River security guard stating that the fire started in the second-floor bathroom of the dorm. This event comes less than a day after a fire broke out at Brooks Hall in the Barnard Quad late yesterday evening. 

Bwog has contacted Columbia Communications for comment. This is a developing story—please email tips@bwog.com with any information.

Email sent to River Hall students from Columbia Housing on Tuesday, October 19 at 8:14 pm EST:

Dear [student],

There was a fire alarm in your building on October 19 at 5:15PM. The alarm was caused by smoke from a small trash can fire in a common area of the building. The hallway sprinkler activated immediately. Facilities responded to address the water damage from the sprinkler.

Thank you for your cooperation during the evacuation. We cannot stress enough the importance of following emergency procedures when an alarm sounds. Your safety should always be the priority.

For a refresh on Fire Safety protocol, watch this video or review the Guide to Living.

Please do not hesitate to contact us via email at housing@columbia.edu if you have any questions.

Best Regards,

Columbia Housing

Reporting contributed by Henry Astor and Rania Borgani.

River Hall via Bwarchives