Fire scare in cafeteria

By Kristen Catalanotto
September 30, 2004

Paul Nasella

As students walked up to brunch on Sunday, Sept. 26, they were met with a sky full of smoke and fire engines from every direction.

A grease fire broke out in the cafeteria kitchen just after 11:30 a.m. Workers were busy cooking food for the usually steady flow of people who eat brunch on Sunday mornings. Cafeteria worker Rob Walker who was in the kitchen when the fire erupted said that he and a fellow co-worker tried to extinguish the fire with a chemical powder that is standard procedure, but it was too late. The fire was out of control and did not respond to the chemical.

Workers then manually pulled the fire alarm and instructed students who were already eating, to evacuate the building.

Public safety scrambled to make sure the building was secure and directed the firefighters where to go. One fire truck seemed to have a tough time finding its way. As the truck came up it curved left near Xavier Hall and proceeded to drive the length of Residential Blvd. until finally reaching its destination, Founders Hall.

Four fire trucks, two ambulances and one fire rescue truck responded to the fire. Students and cafeteria workers waited outside in the Founders Hall parking lot to see all the action with their own eyes.

Three students managed to evacuate the cafeteria with their trays in hand. They then took a front row seat on the ramp connecting the Widener Center and Founders Hall and enjoyed the rest of their brunch.

Black smoke quickly turned to white smoke as the fire was put out shortly after the fire-fighters arrived. No one was hurt during the incident, but students did walk away with empty stomachs. Local restaurants such as campus corner, McDonald’s and Wendy’s saw an influx of Cabrini students looking to quench their hunger.

Those who had heard about the fire were not expecting the cafeteria to be open for business for dinner on the night of Sept. 26. To their surprise chicken fingers and French fries among other foods were read for students to enjoy.

According to the General Manager of Dining Services Mike Antolini the kitchen only had minor damages and is expected to resume full working capacity within a few business days.

Posted to the web by Paul Nasella

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Kristen Catalanotto

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