Fire at Campus Pointe forces residents into the cold

John Milligan

This story has been updated to include additional reporting.

A fire at Campus Pointe Apartments on state Route 59 caused clouds of smoke and an immediate evacuation of 1831 Ashton Lane Wednesday night, but no one was injured.

“Two students were frying food on the stove,” said Melodie Raab, regional supervisor of Asset Campus Housing. “A fire started causing the sprinklers to set off.”

While fire trucks, police cars and an ambulance from Franklin Township and Kent lined the street, more than a dozen misplaced residents and onlookers stood in the parking lot outside.

Only the unit where the fire began suffered damages, Raab said, but the sprinklers caused the entire building to evacuate.

Bill Myers, Kent Fire Department Lieutenant and coordinating officer, said the fire started in a third-floor apartment. His crew is still looking into the fire’s exact source.

Myers said two of the sprinkler system’s sprinklers activated, extinguished the fire before the Kent Fire Department arrived. The sprinklers also kept the fire from spreading beyond the kitchen.

“When we got in to fight the fire, it was already extinguished,” he said. “I’d say that there is some water damage to that apartment as well as the ones below. They need to get the water cleaned up.”

Management moved displaced students to the club house to escape the cold, Raab said, and the effected students are relocating to a new apartment within the Campus Pointe complex.

Residents who were in the building when the fire started said they heard loud knocking and the fire alarm around 9:30 p.m.

Kent State sophomore Taylor Petitt said she heard noises and sirens outside of her room. She said she opened her door and saw smoke hanging throughout the hallway. Even though Petitt left her apartment, she made sure to double back for an absolute necessity – her cellphone.

Julie Henrich said she was also greeted by a wall of smoke as soon as she opened her apartment door. After a few moments of confusion, she said her roommates had to almost physically jostle her to get her out of the building.

By 11:30 p.m. police had cleared out and most residents were allowed back into their respective apartments. It is still unclear how much residual damage the fire caused in neighboring apartments.

Contact John Milligan at [email protected].