GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Greensboro firefighters said an air conditioning unit sparked a fire inside a dorm at Bennett College.
Crews responded to a fire a Merner Hall at Bennett College on Friday night around 6:12 p.m. They found smoke coming from the second story of the building.
An alert about the fire was sent out through Belle Alert, which is the university’s emergency notification app.
The fire left 19 students and a resident director displaced, and they are now staying in Cole Residence Hall, which is another dorm on campus, where they are expected to remain for the remainder of the semester.
There were no injuries, and there is significant smoke damage to the inside of Merner Hall. The university alerted families of students impacted.
Many of the students lost personal belongings to the fire, and school leaders are working to replace much-needed items.
“The very next day, we were able to go shopping and buy them clothes. Immediately, we made sure that if there were any medications needed … we were able to go back into the building once the fire department released it for us to safely do so and retrieve any medications that we could collect. Some of them were fire-damaged, so we had to replace those medications,” said Phanalphie Rhue, Bennett College chief global communications and experience officer.
Faculty and counselors were on campus at the time of the fire to offer support to students.
It’s finals week for Bennett Belles, and the university is encouraging students impacted by the fire to use TimelyCare, which is a 24/7 health and wellness service if they need to talk about how they are feeling after the fire.