Dryer fire in Vanier Hall briefly evacuates residents

    A fire truck from the Fredericton City Fire Department is parked outside of Vanier Hall on Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022. (Aaron Sousa/AQ)

    The fire alarm rang through the corridors of Vanier Hall at St. Thomas University around 5:20 p.m. this evening. 

    Students hurried out of the building, some visibly confused, as rumours spread about the third floor laundry room fire. 

    The Fredericton Fire Department arrived on the scene as students were leaving the building. 

    The Aquinian requested a statement from Jeffrey Carleton, STU’s vice-president communications. 

    The dryer on the third floor was smoking,” wrote Carleton around 6:10 p.m. “Everyone [and] everything is ok [sic].”

    According to Fredericton Fire Department’s assistant deputy chief, David McKinley, he is under the understanding that the fire was contained to the dryer. He said “it was quickly called under control.” 

    The firefighter on-site called for fans to remove smoke from the building, said McKinley. 

    A firefighter stands in a third-floor window of Vanier Hall on Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022. (Aaron Sousa/AQ)

    The investigator arrived shortly after the situation was under control to determine the exact cause of the fire. 

    Since Feb. 23, the dryers on the second floor are out of service and after this incident, the only ones available will be on the first floor. 

    César Camacho was in the laundry room on the third-floor of Vanier Hall with his friends when Diana Castillo put her clothes into the dryer. Camacho said the dryer started smoking and producing an odour. 

    “We took out all the clothes and as soon as we opened the dryer, there was … smoke and we saw a little fire,” he said. 

    They immediately called Campus Security and pulled the fire alarm. 

    Camacho said the incident was stressful. 

    “It’s heavy. It’s not something that happens every day. I’m overthinking this,” he said, reflecting on how the ordeal affected him mentally. “I could be better but I’m okay.”

    The fire department left the building by 6:08 p.m. and the inspector departed around 6:40 p.m.

    With files from Giuliana Grillo De Lambarri