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January 16, 2013

Fire damages Matteson Hall dormitory at SUNY Oneonta

No one reported injured; 177 residents displaced

A fire at Matteson Hall, a dormitory at the State University College at Oneonta, displaced 177 residents today, but no one was hurt, a college official said.

Crews put out the blaze that started in a suite on the top third floor, and afterward firefighters could be seen through windows walking in rooms at the hall not far off of Bugbee Road. As of 6 p.m., no cause has been released.

Oneonta crews were assisted by departments including West Oneonta, Otego and Franklin, officials said, and fire coordinators from Otsego and Delaware counties were at the scene.

Students started classes for the second term today and were allowed to move back into dormitories on Sunday.

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 tonight. Damage, especially smoke damage, to the area of the fire was significant, he said.

The college reported about the fire to the campus community via Facebook, including that college officials believed that all Matteson residents were accounted for based on preliminary reports and interviews.

At dusk, clusters of students stood outside dormitories near Matteson Hall talking about what they had seen. The access road nearest the dormitory was filled with fire trucks from various departments, and a group of firefighters stood on the snowy lawn outside the building as the investigation continued.

The New York State Office of Fire Prevention has been contacted and has sent a representative, college officials said, and the SUNY Dormitory Authority will evaluate structural damage.

SUNY Oneonta University Police officers have secured the building. University Police and other emergency services crews responded to several fire alarms at Matteson Hall at about 4 p.m.,  the Facebook account said.

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