Behrend’s Dining Commons on Fire
Update: Penn State Live is reporting that Monday’s fire has been ruled an accident, caused by faults in the electrical system. The fire marshal’s full report will be available sometime in April.
Between 11.30 and midnight on Monday, a fire erupted in Dobbins Dining Hall at Penn State Behrend. The building was uninhabited at the time, so there is no reason to believe that there are any injuries. According to the Penn State Behrend Director of Marketing Communications Bill Gonda, students from both Lawrence and Porcupine (cool name!) Halls were evacuated and moved to different locations. Approximately 275 students were evacuated from these halls.
The students were evacuated because of the danger from the smoke, and the students from Lawrence were instructed to move to Niagara Hall. Students were let back into Lawrence and Porcupine by around 1:20 am. The fire was officially extinguished at 1:30 am.
Unfortunately, Dobbins Dining Hall was undergoing renovations and is going to require more extensive renovations after the fire. According to Mike Carpin (the Assistant Fire Chief of Brookside Fire Department),
The west end of the building [the Gazebo area] is a total loss. The interior kitchen area is a total loss due to smoke from the fire and water from extinguishing the fire.
The building has been deemed too unstable to enter and further investigation will be held when the fire marshall arrives.
Thankfully, the Dobbins Food Service will be run out of McGarvey commons in the meantime.