More than 35 residents at the Summit were displaced after a small fire broke out on Nov. 14 around 10 p.m.
The Fire Department of New York believed someone was smoking a cigarette in the second floor garbage room and threw it out while still lit, which caused flames. They said it was not a case of arson and most likely an accident.
No one was injured during the fire or flooding, Summit authorities said.
“There is no fire damage to any of the apartments and very little fire damage to the second floor trash room. The building’s sprinkler system worked exactly as it is meant to and the fire was quickly extinguished. A few apartments on the first and second floors have some water damage from the sprinklers,” Adam Rockman, vice president of Student Affairs, said in an email.
The sprinklers in the hallway released enough water to seep under resident’s doors into their kitchens, living rooms and bedrooms. It soaked belongings they had on the floor.
About 38 resident’s rooms were affected and students were left without apartments. They had to stay in vacant rooms on other floors until the damage was repaired.
Major construction took place throughout the first and second floors following the incident. Workers from ServPro Fire and Water Cleanup and Restoration replaced the sheetrock in the walls, re-painted and installed new carpets. Summit administration said they remained hopeful that the construction will be completed in a timely manner and are doing all they can to aid displaced residents.
“It’s hard to tell [when the construction will be completed] because it’s a step-by-step process, but definitely within the next few weeks,” Russell Johnson, a Summit resident assistant, said.
The incident caused major stress for students and faculty at the Summit, especially with finals and holidays so near. Radheeka Shamara, a junior, was one resident affected.
“It’s given me an experience I’ll never forget. I moved to New York City from small town in Iowa and then next thing you know my apartment building is on fire. I had to move all my belongings upstairs while classes were going on and couldn’t focus on my studies because I had three papers due the same week,” Sharma said.
Junior Andrea Zuart was displaced after her room suffered water damage.
“This incident caused a ton of stress for me. I was home that weekend and found out through my roommates my room was flooded. I had to miss class Monday and hurt my back moving everything in my room upstairs by myself,” Zuart said.
Summit staff reminded students that smoking is not permitted in The Summit or anywhere on the QC campus. The campus-smoking ban began in January 2012 when CUNY banned tobacco from all campuses.