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Purchase College President Thanks Campus Community For Uniting After Fire

Members of the Purchase College staff and community united to collect items needed by about 25 students displaced by a dorm fire Sunday night. College officials said the students are staying temporarily at a local hotel.
Members of the Purchase College staff and community united to collect items needed by about 25 students displaced by a dorm fire Sunday night. College officials said the students are staying temporarily at a local hotel. Photo Credit: Purchase College
Flames shoot the roof of a Purchase College dormitory shortly after the blaze was reported at 10 p.m. on Sunday. All 25 residents evacuated safely and no firefighters were hurt containing the fire by 11 p.m.
Flames shoot the roof of a Purchase College dormitory shortly after the blaze was reported at 10 p.m. on Sunday. All 25 residents evacuated safely and no firefighters were hurt containing the fire by 11 p.m. Photo Credit: Rye Fire Department
Canned foods and beverages were among the items donated to meet short-term needs of Purchase College students displaced by a dormitory fire on Sunday.
Canned foods and beverages were among the items donated to meet short-term needs of Purchase College students displaced by a dormitory fire on Sunday. Photo Credit: Purchase College
Purchase College classmates and area high school students were among those donating essential items to assist about 25 students whose dormitory was destroyed in a fire. The displaced students are staying temporarily at a local hotel.
Purchase College classmates and area high school students were among those donating essential items to assist about 25 students whose dormitory was destroyed in a fire. The displaced students are staying temporarily at a local hotel. Photo Credit: Purchase College
A four-alarm fire broke out Sunday night inside an apartment-style dorm at Purchase College. The cause remains under investigation.
A four-alarm fire broke out Sunday night inside an apartment-style dorm at Purchase College. The cause remains under investigation. Photo Credit: Spencer R. Schilsky

This story has been updated.

PURCHASE, N.Y. -- Purchase College's president thanked area firefighters, State University of New York staff, university police and the campus community for uniting in the aftermath of Sunday's dormitory fire which displaced 25 students.

The four-alarm fire, which remains under investigation but is not considered suspicious, broke out about 10 p.m. inside an apartment-style dorm called the Commons.

About 25 residents in the K Street apartment escaped safely, according to SUNY Purchase officials.

Firefighters from Armonk, Harrison, Purchase, West Harrison, the town and village of Mamaroneck, Larchmont, Port Chester and North White Plains brought the fire under control within an hour. Rye Fire Department was placed on standby

No one was injured and emergency hotel lodging was provided to those who were displaced, Purchase College officials said on Tuesday.

In an email sent to students, parents and staff, Purchase College President Thomas Schwarz wrote: "It is times like these during which it is clear that the Purchase community is united and dedicated to taking care of its members."

The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the New York State Fire Inspection team; however, the cause is not suspicious, college officials said.

Members of the Office of Community Engagement were at on scene throughout the night to ensure the safety of students and to secure temporary lodging for those who were displaced by the fire. They continue to meet to identify permanent accommodations both on and off campus. In the meantime, the Purchase College Association arranged for meals as well as transportation to and from a hotel where displaced students were being housed.

A supplies drive began on Monday to assist the displaced students and replace some of their lost belongings, college officials said.

College President Schwarz added: "I want to thank our students, our resident advisors and counselors and our community engagement staff as well as members of our (University Police Department) for the excellent work in response to this emergency. We had many on active duty (Sunday) night to make sure that we knew where our students were. Our communications team did a good job of getting out messages to the campus about what was happening."

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