NCCU students evacuate after fire in Baynes Residence Hall

November 17, 2021

Today, a student on the fifth floor of Baynes Residence Hall allegedly started a small fire after smoking marijuana.

The Durham Fire Department received a 911 call at 11:01 a.m. and dispatched fire trucks in the following minutes. 

“We had a couple of units respond to a fire alarm call when we got here and saw the smoke we upgraded everything to a full alarm,” Battalion Chief Shawn Field said. “When we got to the fifth floor, we found something on fire in front of the elevator.”

Field won’t have any knowledge of the cause of the fire until an investigator comes to evaluate the scene.

Field also said that his department has had to respond to several N. C. Central University 911 calls in the past year including the fire that happened in Ruffin last year.

Although this was another day at the office for the Battalion Chief Field, students were left confused as they exited the building. 

“I was driving up to Baynes and they were spraying the building,” Katori Joyner said. “We’ve been standing outside of Baynes for an hour.” 

Currently, Baynes Residence Hall houses 140 students. One student, in particular, stayed on the same floor as the alleged suspect and was able to confirm the story. 

“My room was right in front of the elevator and I saw a lot of students start squirming. We think he threw a roach in the trash can,” Nic Witherspoon said.

The suspect was taken into Durham Police custody. More information will follow as the verdict awaits.

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