Parker Hall fire quickly contained

Published 6:05 pm Tuesday, March 3, 2020

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MURFREESBORO – No injuries were reported after a small fire on Chowan University’s campus on March 2.

The fire occurred in a dorm room on the seventh floor of Parker Hall. Murfreesboro Fire Chief Jeremy Brittenham said neither student was in their room when the fire started, but were alerted by fellow students.

“Right now, the cause is still under investigation,” Brittenham told the News Herald on Tuesday morning, explaining the fire seemed to originate around a bookbag and a dresser between the beds inside the room.

Brittenham also noted a student tried unsuccessfully to put the fire out with an extinguisher before first responders arrived.

The Murfreesboro Fire Department was dispatched at 1:27 p.m. with the first truck arriving on scene at 1:34 p.m.

“The fire was brought under control in 20 minutes,” Brittenham reported.

The fire department remained on scene until 3:32 p.m. to check for any hot spots and to ventilate the building. Brittenham said ventilation in Parker Hall is sometimes a challenge because they have to do it through the stairwell instead of through the windows.

The four units dispatched from the Murfreesboro department received assistance from three Winton Fire Department units as well as Hertford County Emergency Management, Hertford County EMS, Murfreesboro Police, and Chowan University Police.

Because Murfreesboro’s ladder truck was temporarily out of service, Ahoskie’s ladder truck was paged out to join the other units on the scene, but was canceled when the fire was quickly contained.

Brittenham commended the firefighters who worked together quickly when arriving at the student dorm.

“They kept the fire contained and kept it from causing more damage to the room or the floor in general,” he said.

The dorm room suffered some smoke and water damage to the carpet and dresser, but no other part of the building sustained damage.