Algonquin College students were treated to an early wake-up call Saturday after a fire alarm at 3:18 a.m., causing the entire residence to be evacuated. No injuries were reported.
“Just a good old alarm at 3:30 a.m.,” said Owen Uchacz, an architectural technician student at the college.
Hundreds of Algonquin College students were evacuated from the residence building after a fire broke out in a dormitory room on the first floor of the building. The cause of the fire was unknown.
“There was black smoke coming out of the cracks of the doors, like black smoke,” said Amelie Leger, a public safety student at Algonquin College.
Ottawa Fire Services were quick to respond to the emergency, arriving within four minutes of getting the call. Firefighters were able to contain the situation quickly after arriving, putting the fire out at approximately 3:30 a.m.
Temperatures dropped to a record low of -32 C during the evening, making it the coldest Feb. 4 in 100 years, according to Environment Canada, which issued a frostbite warning due to the freezing temperatures.
Students took shelter in the Student Commons while firefighters dealt with the situation.
“At first there was just a little bit of smoke, we got everyone out of my room and left,” said Tavish Blakely, a motorpower technician student at the college. “You couldn’t see down the hallway to the other end.”
Firefighters also conducted a ventilation operation to make sure the building was clear of any smoke before the students re-entered the building, according to Ottawa Fire Services’ Twitter page.
The fire services dispatched an investigator to the residence to determine the cause of the fire.
Students were able to return to their rooms at approximately 4:50 a.m., more than an hour after the alarm initially sounded.