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Fire Damages Coastal Carolina Dorm

By Sara Wood


08-04-11 – Dozens of students at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina will be reassigned new housing this fall as a fire damaged a residence hall on Sunday. WHQR's Sara Wood reports the blaze was caused by lightning but no one was living in or occupying the building at the time.

Steve Harrison, Director of Housing and Residence Life at the school says the damage is still being assessed, and it may take days if not weeks to get an estimate.

Harrison and his staff are working on relocating the 58 students originally assigned to the building into different housing.

He says that since the fire started weeks before the beginning of fall semester, it should be a fairly seamless process.

"If we can make it easier by ensuring things like they don't have to go out and buy new bed linens and all those kinds of things. We're trying to make those switches easier for them, so it's effectively just showing up to a different address than the one they had planned on showing up, and in many cases that's less than 50 yards from the building they thought they were going to be living in."

Harrison says he has ample time to make new housing arrangements.

"So we will, over the course of the next couple of days, be directly in contact with each of these students to tell them, this is what you asked for, this is what you were assigned to, and this the similar space that we're able to offer you at this point. And that's, I think, going to be very easy for them to adjust to once they arrive on campus."

The fire was contained within an hour, which Harrison attributes to the quick response from fire officials, as well as a long-mandated sprinkler system for dormitories in South Carolina. He says sprinkler mandates in dormitories were recently passed in North Carolina.

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