‘Your room is now on fire’

Stephanie Park

Allyn residents relocate after Monday’s blaze

Dave Gornick, freshman business major, showed how his dorm room on the third floor in Allyn Hall was damaged due to the fire. All his things left in the room were covered in black soot, including his fish, which was still alive, and his room smelled of sm

Credit: Steve Schirra

The two residents of room 316 didn’t think the fire was real.

“I actually thought it was a joke when they called me,” said Justin Dulla, freshman marketing major and Allyn Hall resident, of a phone call he received from the university on Monday.

Shortly after his room caught fire early that morning, Dulla answered the telephone at his parents’ home in Chardon, Ohio, where he stayed for the weekend. An individual informed him of the blaze, and Dulla said he went back to sleep, convinced it was a joke.

Dulla’s roommate, freshman business administration major Jeff Hadzinsky, did the same.

However, after seeing their room, the two knew it was no joke. Dulla returned to campus with his father and worked with firefighters to reconstruct the set-up of his room for investigation purposes. Monday’s fire began in room 316.

The cause of the blaze is still unknown, said Betsy Joseph, director of Residence Services.

All students living on the third and fourth floors in Allyn Hall will be relocated to open rooms on campus, Joseph said. Residence Services is working to find temporary assignments and permanent housing for displaced students. The department hopes to keep as many residents in Allyn Hall as possible. Students who wish to commute may file exemption contract releases. Forms for doing so were made available at a meeting yesterday.

Dulla and Hadzinsky moved to Allerton Apartments yesterday, where they will live for the remainder of the academic year. Hadzinsky said he is happy to move to Allerton Apartments.

“The apartment is pretty cool,” he said.

Freshman sociology major Ben Gunter lived across the hall in Allyn Hall and will be relocated to another residence hall. Gunter said he awoke Monday because of the fire alarm.

“The alarm was like, ‘Your room is now on fire,’” Gunter said, chuckling. “My buddy from Akron slept over. We covered our heads with pillows.”

After hearing a firefighter knock on his door, Gunter said he put on his pants, grabbed his laptop and checked the missed calls on his cell phone. Gunter and his friend then exited the building. As they left, his friend lit a cigarette in the smoke-filled hallway.

“It’s already on fire,” his friend said.

Not everyone, however, had a chance to grab their belongings.

If he could have grabbed one thing, Hadzinsky said he would have grabbed his iPod. Along with that item, he lost clothes, books, DVDs, his PlayStation and videogames.

During a meeting with Allyn Hall residents in Twin Towers yesterday afternoon, Joseph told residents who lost belongings to fill out forms, which will be reviewed according to the university insurance policy.

“It (the damage) is unknown at this time with smoke damage,” she said.

Hadzinsky said the fire damaged almost all of his belongings.

“I did my own personal estimate,” he said. “I’ve lost about $3,500 worth of stuff. I actually recovered a pair of sweatpants. My mom wanted me to recover something from it.”

Thinking about his loses, Dulla shook his head.

“I don’t even know — I don’t think it’s kicked in yet,” he said.

Dave Gornick, freshman business major and former resident of the third floor of Allyn Hall, was among the Allyn Hall residents who were waiting to recover belongings from their rooms yesterday. He wanted to see if his goldfish lived through the fire.

Although he was relocated to Terrace Hall, Gornick said he spent the night in Dulla and Hadzinsky’s new apartment.

Hadzinsky and Dulla did not have anything but an unpopped bag of popcorn and a pair of sweatpants to take to their new apartment.

“I’m going shopping tonight and saving the receipts for Kent State,” Hadzinsky said.

Contact room and board reporter Stephanie Park at [email protected].