UConn and Mansfield fire crews respond to burning papers at Daily Campus

At 12:50am on Sunday, the Daily Campus newspapers caught on fire. The reason is still unknown and damage is minimal. (Charlotte Lao/The Daily Campus)

University of Connecticut and Mansfield fire crews responded to reports of a fire behind the Daily Campus building due to stacks of papers burning at approximately 12:50 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 4.

The fire crews were able to put the fire out swiftly.  

“They put out the blaze pretty quickly, (it took them) seconds,” said Zachary Mangold, a first-semester undeclared engineering major who observed the fire from his room on the sixth floor of the South tower of Buckley Hall.

The newspapers burned and some plastic containers in the area melted.

One firefighter incurred a minor injury while carrying equipment on the scene.

Stephanie Reitz, UConn’s spokeswoman, said that there was minor damage to the exterior of the building but none to the interior.

“(The fire) didn’t extend to the building, but some light smoke went inside,” Reitz said.

There were no Daily Campus employees in the building at the time of the fire.

Charlotte Lao, a photographer for the Daily Campus and first-semester biomedical engineering major, reported to the scene after noticing the fire from her room in Buckley Hall.

“When I got to my room, I smelt burning and looked out the window and saw that the newspapers were on fire,” Lao said.

Two other Daily Campus employees also responded to the scene.

“We responded when we heard about the fire,” Amar Batra, a senior staff photographer for the Daily Campus and 7th semester mathematics-statistics major, said.

Other students who live in Buckley Hall were able to see the fire from their dorms.

“I thought ‘oh wow someone set the newspapers in the back of the gosh darn Daily Campus on fire’” Kevin Okifo, a first-semester biology major said.

The cause of the fire is currently being investigated by the UConn Police Department.

“They’re looking into if this was caused by a cigarette butt or if someone purposely set it on fire,” Batra said.


Anna Zarra Aldrich is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at anna.aldrich@uconn.edu. She tweets @ZarraAnna.