Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 5
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Fire prompts Clinton Court evacuation

All 90 Clinton Court residents, many of whom are Whitman students, were evacuated from their apartments at just past midnight Friday morning due to a fire that erupted in one of the basement apartments.

“I was sleeping in my bed and was woken up by the fire alarm,” said junior Elena Mitchel. “I grabbed some warm things and ran down the stairs. The entire building was filled with smoke and I almost ran into a giant fireman in the lobby.”

The Walla Walla Fire Dept. was called to 602 Boyer Ave. shortly before 12:15 a.m., a lead Fire Dept. investigator said.

By 1 a.m., the apartments had been properly evacuated and Fire Dept. firefighters were able to get in quickly to extinguish the fire

“We were lucky to get in there so early because the fire could have easily spread quickly [to the rest of the building],” the investigator   said.

The original call was regarding a smoke investigation, but firefighters quickly upgraded the call to a general fire alarm, according to a Fire Dept. press release.

Upon arrival, firefighters determined smoke was coming from the east side of the building’s main entrance, and were able to locate the fire in the building’s basement, according to the press release.

“A fire hose was run through the street to the fire-hydrant and apparently when it filled up, the pressure made it shoot out and knock over a big fireman,” Mitchel said.

Several of the evacuated students returned to campus while others stayed in the Odd Fellows Home, cafeteria for roughly an hour until the fire was put out and the building was cleared of smoke.

“I stood around for a while with my friends and made sure all my friends were out of the building,” Mitchel said. “Then we went to the library for a bit and then to the Odd Fellows center.”

The Fire Dept. estimates damages to be approximately $7,000.   The cause of the fire is still under investigation, according to the press release.

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