No Injuries in Mason Hall Blaze

Sprinkler-soaked rugs hang outside Mason Hall after a fire there in November.
Photo courtesy of The Free Lance-Star.

A recent fire that broke out on the fifth floor of Mason Hall brought the Mary Washington community together.

The blaze started about 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, less than two months after a rededication ceremony marked the end of renovations to the Randolph-Mason complex. There were no injuries. Emergency responders contained fire damage to one room, but there was some water damage in the building.

“When things like this happen, we have a job to do,” said Director of Residence Life Christine M. Porter, who was among administrators who stayed on campus through the night. “Keeping students informed, making sure they’re safe – they’re at the forefront of our procedures.”

Alarm and sprinkler systems functioned efficiently, the Fredericksburg Fire Department responded to the scene, and the entire complex – including The Link connecting Randolph and Mason residence halls – was evacuated.

Displaced students received regular updates from UMW, and fellow students and faculty posted offers of help on Facebook and Twitter. Residents of Randolph and the Link were admitted to their rooms later that evening, but Mason residents were relocated across campus. With few exceptions, students were allowed to return to their rooms on Sunday.

Fredericksburg officials determined the fire was caused by a small appliance.

On Nov. 17, the UMW Board of Visitors issued a resolution commending the professional response of senior-level administrators and University departments, including Residence Life, UMW Police, Emergency Management and Safety, Facilities and Housekeeping, University Events, and University Relations.