Press release from the Humboldt State University:

Firefighters from the Arcata Fire District responded to a reported structure fire with a confirmed burn victim at Shasta Hall on the Humboldt State University campus at 9:17 p.m., Thursday, April 17.

The resident reportedly suffered 1st and 2nd degree burns to the face and hands, and paramedics from Arcata-Mad River Ambulance transported her to Mad River Hospital.Two other residents were evaluated for smoke inhalation. One refused treatment and another was taken to Mad River Hospital.

The first engine, responding out of the Arcata Fire Station, arrived at the residence hall within 2 minutes of leaving the fire station and reported that there was no fire or smoke visible. The crew met with University Police officers who reported that the injured resident was out of the building and that a grease fire had been extinguished by the building sprinkler system.

Three engines and the ladder truck responded to the call with a total of 23 firefighters.

According to Fire Chief Desmond Cowan, “It's really fortunate that the resident wasn't much more badly injured. The fire started when grease in a pan ignited. The resident tried to move the pot over to the sink and that's how she got burned. One sprinkler head in the kitchen area activated and put out the fire.This incident shows how careful you have to be when you're cooking and how valuable residential fire sprinkler systems are.


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The relatively small amount of water in the room was nothing compared to the threat to the occupants and the damage that would have occurred without the sprinklers.”

University personnel and firefighters worked together to evacuate the building and secure the sprinkler system. The University and the Arcata Fire District train together to manage incidents on campus and coordinate their efforts to serve the staff and residents of the University. “Our goal is to provide fast and professional service to the students and staff so that their families know they are safe when they are enrolled at Humboldt State University,” said Chief Cowan.