Cause of UNC dorm fire under investigation
Posted November 6, 2013
Chapel Hill, N.C. — Investigators spent Wednesday trying to figure out what caused a fire at a dorm at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill that temporarily displaced 380 students.
The fire started around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday in the attic of the northwest corner of Cobb Residence Hall, at 110 Country Club Road, and filled the building's fourth floor.
There were no injuries, but parts of the 61-year-old building suffered smoke and water damage. Crews were making repairs Wednesday, and a university spokeswoman said some students could be allowed back inside later in the day.
Authorities haven't said what might have sparked the fire.
An automatic alarm alerted campus public safety officers late Tuesday afternoon. When they arrived, they smelled smoke and traced the fire to the attic's insulation and structure in the northwest end of the building's center section.
It took more than an hour for firefighters from three fire departments to get the blaze under control.
Students were allowed in briefly Tuesday night to get personal belongings and were provided by the university alternate housing.
According to UNC's Housing and Residential Education website, Cobb is home to about 400 students living in single, double and triple rooms on four floors.
The building was built in 1952 and renovated in 2005, according to the website.