Update, 10:37 p.m.: All buildings in the Carmichael Towers complex have been cleared by the fire marshal and have been determined to be environmentally safe for occupancy. While there are no health or safety concerns, the conditions in Towers 2, where the fire occurred in the basement, are not optimal. Residents in Towers 2 will have the option to stay in temporary housing on campus for the evening.
8:10 p.m.: Officials are investigating a fire that occurred Friday afternoon, March 3, at Carmichael Towers residence hall complex. There were no injuries and some residents have been able to return. It was initially believed the cause of the fire was mechanical, but the cause remains undetermined and the investigation continues.
A smoke detector in one of the four high-rise towers that compose the complex went off at 4:11 p.m. and the buildings’ occupants immediately evacuated the building. The complex normally houses 1,200 students. However, only about 100 students were in the residence halls when the fire occurred. Most of the students had left campus because of the university’s spring break scheduled next week. Housing officials expect up to 200 students to remain housed in the complex during spring break.
University housing and workplace safety officials are still determining when Towers East (Towers 1 and 2), the two residence halls directly affected by the fire, can be reopened for residency. There is minimal smoke damage to Towers East and no structural damage; however, some clean-up or remediation needs to occur before residents can return. Residents were able to return to Towers West (Towers 3 and 4) at 6:15 p.m.
Currently, housing officials are escorting students to their rooms in Towers East to retrieve their belongings.