Two dozen Emory & Henry students evacuated during finals week

About two dozen students of Emory and Henry College are safe but stressed tonight.

That after a fire destroyed part of their dorm in the middle of the night Sunday.

A fire alarm saved lives at Emory and Henry College.

And this is all that's left in the lobby of the dorm in the aftermath of the fire.

Students Jack Harris and Michael Martin helped to put out.

"I turned the corner, and noticed there was an abnormal amount of smoke in the room, and you can hardly see two feet in front of you. And all of the furniture was on fire," says Harris.

The fire was contained in the lobby of Stuart Hall.

Jack and Michael grabbed a fire extinguisher and tried the best they could to stop the fire.

But many of the items were destroyed including couches and ottomans. But no injuries were reported.

"It was really bad but I didn't want to see this building go up in flames because this is my home. I don't want to move and I don't want anybody to get hurt," says Martin.

All students received notification about two hours later in an email from Dean of Students, Ryan Bowyer.

"We emailed out to students. We also emailed specific residents given the timeline and the rest of the day was going to look like," says Bowyer.

But the rest of the campus community didn't find out until some nine hours later.

The emergency app, Live Safe that sends text alerts to the entire campus wasn't used.

"The app is used for campus-wide emergencies. This affected a select group of students and it didn't necessarily affect the entire campus," says Bowyer.

Stuart Hall residents are in temporary housing around campus while officials continue to investigate.

For Jack, this adds more stress to an already stressful finals week.

"I was kinda in a panic, I was frantically calling my parents and trying to get them to shake trees, and figure out where I was supposed to go and where I was going to sleep. This experience has not been a lot of fun for me and I'm ready to leave campus and put this whole thing behind me," says Harris.

At this time the future of Stuart Hall is also uncertain.

The fire is still under investigation but officials say it appears accidental.

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