No Injuries Reported In Cobb Dorm Fire

Cobb dorm fire.

Firefighters at Cobb dorm fire. (Photo: The Daily Tar Heel)

An attic fire in Cobb dorm on Tuesday evening forced the evacuation of 380 students who had to move somewhere else to spend the night.

No injuries were reported.

The Chapel Hill Fire Department responded to an alarm at the residence hall at about 5 p.m. Crew members smelled smoke and traced the fire to the attic’s insulation and structure in the northwest end of the building’s center section. The University’s alert system reported that flames no longer were visible by 6 p.m. Fire and smoke damage were limited to the attic and the section of the fourth floor directly below the fire, including some students’ rooms.

Roads surrounding the building on the eastern edge of the campus that were closed were being reopened by 10 p.m. The Daily Tar Heel reported that students were being allowed in the building in shifts to retrieve personal items from their rooms.

The University was able to find on-campus housing for about 250 of the students, but others were forced to find other accommodations. Alert Carolina reported that most students, except those living in the northwest wing, should be able to move back in sometime Wednesday.

UNC Department of Public Safety spokesman Randy Young said the fire started in the attic at about 4:30 p.m., automatically triggering the hall’s alarm system. He said structural damage to the building was minimal, according to The DTH.

Cobb was built in 1952 and was renovated in 2005, including the addition of some common-area rooms, central air conditioning, an elevator and accommodations for disabled people. It houses 400 students and is equipped with smoke detectors and alarms.

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