Bathroom light caused dorm fire at UNC - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Bathroom light caused dorm fire at UNC

Posted: Updated:
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -

A bathroom light was determined to be the source of the fire that displaced 380 students at the University of North Carolina's Cobb Residence Hall Nov. 5.

A spokesperson for the University said a final report on the fire was not complete but the cause was determined to be from a recessed bathroom light that showed charring on one side and a "V" pattern that branched out from this point of origin.

University of North Carolina Public Safety Director Randy Young said an automatic alarm went off between 4:30 p.m. and 4:45 p.m. Responding emergency crews smelled smoke and traced the fire to the attic's insulation and structure in the northwest end of the building.

No one was hurt in the incident. 

The building did sustain some structural damage, Young said.

Most residents of the dorm were able to return to their rooms later that week except for those living in the northwest wing, the University said in a release. Student Housing met with evacuated students to arrange overnight accommodations.

Fire fighters did not have to cut into the roof but used a hatch near the fire to enter the attic. 

Cobb, a large dorm on the main part of campus, was built in 1952 and renovated in 2005. The co-ed dorm is the home to 400 students and located just off of Country Club Road.

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