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Small fire at UVic residence quickly contained

Oct 01 2012
Saanich police and firefighters respond to a fire at the Hugh Stephen Hall residences at the University of Victoria. 

Saanich police and firefighters respond to a fire at the Hugh Stephen Hall residences at the University of Victoria.

Photograph by: Adrian Lam , Times Colonist

Jesse Ramon jumped out his first-floor dorm room window, wearing nothing more than a bathrobe, after a small fire broke out in a student residence at the University of Victoria late Sunday morning.

Saanich fire officials said the small fire was contained to part of a fellow student’s room and quickly extinguished at the Hugh Stephen residence.

The residence was evacuated as a precaution. Ramon, 18, said he was the last one out of the building, which has about 60 single-student rooms.

Firefighters from Oak Bay and Saanich were on scene and quickly put out the fire, which is believed to have started in the corner of the room where several electrical items were found.

A set of speakers were sitting on top of a refrigerator, according to Saanich fire Capt. Scott Norris.

Saanich police later confirmed an electrical failure caused the fire in the room.

Most of the student residents were in the building at the time of the fire. Ramon had initially mistaken the fire alarm for his alarm clock and then thought someone might have been playing a practical joke by pulling the alarm.

Walking into the main corridor, he discovered the situation was no prank.

“I opened the door and walked down the hall and saw smoke coming toward me,” he said.

Ramon ran back to his room and jumped out the window, just above the ground.

“It was the last thing I could think of doing,” he said.

The student living in the room where the fire broke out was not home at the time, according to reports from students at the scene.

Dorms in the Hugh Stephen building are part of the three-building McGill complex. They have no cooking appliances but some have refrigerators, students said.

dspalding@timescolonist.com

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