This doesn’t look great. The top floor above the fire house offices from my wife’s faculty of Human Ecology and her office is in that brick building three floors above the firefighters. Let’s hope that nobody was sleeping in the building (including in the grad student offices) and that everyone got out.
The nearby Residence that was evacuated at 2pm must be University College, where I lived for three years. I hope that everyone got out ok there as well and that there are adequate facilities for them today. The rest of campus is being evacuated right now because of the hazardous materials in the labs in the Duff Roblin building (the one on fire). That means that thousands of residence students are now out of their homes. Hopefully, everything is worked out soon enough so that they can all return before night.
Is anyone out there affected by this? Any new news?
UPDATE (4:02pm): CBC now reports that the fire was brought under control “about two hours” after the initial arrival of fire crews. That means that it was stopped just after 2:00pm. But, campus was being entirely evacuated at 3pm according the FreeP. I guess details will emerge later.
UPDATE (4:02:30pm): Free Press also confirms fire is under control. But, they also note that “emergency officials are evacuating the Fort Garry campus due to concerns about chemicals inside the building.” I hope that all turns out to be ok and those hundreds of residence students can return home soon.
UPDATE (4:45pm): The latest version from the Free Press has the fire in the past tense and says that only the area within a kilometer of the building was evacuated, not the whole campus. (But, 1km would be most anyways) Things must be quickly coming under control now and I’m sure that we’ll learn more about the story in the next few days. Since this is now under control, I’m going to stop updating and just wish everyone who works in the building well, both in terms of safety and their projects that were interrupted.
UPDATE: (5:11pm): I just spoke with Sid Rashid, the incoming UMSU president. He went to U College and they were not evacuated. St. John’s residence was temporarily evacuated, but U College never was. That’s well within 1km of the scene, so the media definitely did not have the best info. Co-chairs at U College indicated that all is well and that tonight’s social events are continuing as planned.