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UC students may be displaced by dorm fire for the rest of the semester

Posted at 11:48 PM, Aug 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-30 13:18:40-04

CINCINNATI — Some University of Cincinnati students whose dorm rooms experienced a lot of damage following a fire in Calhoun Hall could be displaced for the rest of the semester, according to a university email.

Cole Hicks moved into the hall with his high school friend during UC's move-in week earlier in August. He was there roughly a week before a fire, caused by a battery-powered skateboard, and subsequent sprinkler-related water damage wrecked the dorm room.

"I look out my door and there's just smoke in the hallways," said Hicks. "So, I grabbed my keys, I locked the door and I start running down the steps."

The pre-nursing student was let back into his room after the fire was extinguished to collect some belongings before moving to a nearby hotel. He said, for the most part, his belongings were fine, but the dorm remains waterlogged.

"For the rest of the semester, I can't be in my old room, I guess you could say," said Hicks.

He received an email from the university, which labeled his room as a "highly-impacted space." It says he should expect to be in another dorm for the rest of the year -- the case is similar for the dozens of students living on the fifth floor of the dorm building, Hicks said.

"They're just scattered everywhere," he said. "There's people at Morgens, Turner, Scioto, Dabney and Daniels, all over the place."

He laments that, because of this, budding friendships with others on his floor have virtually disappeared since the evacuation.

The email Hicks received from the university said the school plans to restore his room, along with the others.