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Fire at UMW Mason Hall Quickly Controlled

A fifth floor fire was centered around a coffee pot. No injuries were reported.

The Fredericksburg Fire Department and one unit from the Stafford County Fire & Rescue Department responded to a fire in Mason Hall at the University of Mary Washington on Friday evening.

At 7:18 p.m., Fredericksburg Emergency Communications received a call from the UMW Police, stating a fire alarm was sounding in Mason Hall, according to information from Fredericksburg Deputy Fire Chief Mike Jones in a press release.

The call was upgraded before dispatch to a reported structure fire, due to confirmation of smoke detector activation. No fire was evident from the exterior of the building upon arrival, Jones said. 

As personnel made their way into the building, they encountered a burning odor on the fifth floor, but no smoke in the hallways, said Jones.  At room 506, units determined smoke conditions and deployed a hose line from the standpipe system.

They entered the room and extinguished a fire around a coffee pot. At the same time, the sprinkler head activated in that room as well.

Other units made a thorough search of the building to ensure all students and visitors were out of the building. UMW Police and Residence Life personnel performed a head count, and it was determined all parties except emergency responders were out of the structure.

Fire department personnel remained on the scene for a time to assist UMW personnel with water removal and clean up.

The origin of the fire appears to be a coffee pot that was sitting on top of a small refrigerator, according to an investigation by the Fire Marshal’s Office.
It was accidental and is not considered suspicious, Jones said.

There were no injuries, Jones said.

The small fire was quickly controlled due in large part to the activation of the fire/smoke detection system that was improved following the recent renovations to that building, Jones said. He said the sprinkler system worked as needed and helped control the fire.

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