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Local News

January 17, 2013

Fire breaks out in SUCO dorm

A fire at Matteson Hall, a SUNY Oneonta dormitory, displaced 177 residents Wednesday, officials said, but no one was hurt.

About 60 firefighters from multiple area departments aggressively fought the fire, which started in a suite on the third floor at 14 East Dorm Drive, Oneonta Fire Chief Patrick Pidgeon said Wednesday night. The fire started at about 4 p.m. and was under control in less than an hour, he said.

The cause of the fire was under investigation, Pidgeon said, and fire investigators were to work through the night to determine the origin of the blaze.

Students started classes at the State University College at Oneonta for the second term Wednesday and were allowed to move back into dormitories Sunday, college officials said. The fire at Matteson Hall was the second fire in a residence hall this week.

The academic schedule at SUNY Oneonta hasn’t been affected by the fire Wednesday, and classes will be held today, officials said.

On Wednesday night, the college was working with the American Red Cross on a plan to house Matteson Hall residents in the Chase Gymnasium on campus, Hal Legg, director of communications, said Wednesday. Efforts were being made to provide students with food, clothing, toiletries and computers.

Matteson Hall was evacuated and was secured by the University Police for the night, college officials said. Based on preliminary reports from officials at the scene, damage — especially smoke damage — was significant on the third floor, a media release from the college said, and other areas of the building were less affected.

Otsego County dispatchers said SUNY University Police called the county at 4:01 p.m. to report the fire based on alarms set off in three separate rooms, dispatchers said.

Pidgeon said he responded from home and was first on the scene. Flames were coming out of a window, he said, and he immediately called the station to issue a “Group 66’’ general alarm.

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