The state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, Office of Fire Prevention and Control, officially has concluded that the fire in Matteson Hall was accidental and caused by the overheating or malfunctioning of a power strip in relation to a pole lamp, memos published at SUNY Oneonta said.
No one was hurt in the Jan. 16 fire that started in a third-floor bedroom, but the third-floor has been closed  this semester for repairs, displacing about 55 students who were relocated to other residence halls. The Oneonta Fire Department and other local crews put out the blaze, which temporarily displaced the hall’s 175 residents.
The division’s conclusion that the fire was an accident and not the result of negligence by the college or its employees precludes the state from paying any claims related to the fire, according to the Internal Control Office at the State University College at Oneonta.
Howeve, the college has received private funds for a Matteson Fire Property Loss Relief Fund, and applications for assistance will be accepted until May 10.
SUNY Oneonta spokesman Hal Legg said no figures were available Thursday on the financial impact of the fire damages to the residence hall.