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Small fire extinguished in Randolph laundry room

A small fire was put out Thursday afternoon by the City of Durham Fire Department in Randolph dormitory, leaving a dryer charred.

Keith Lawrence, executive director of news and communications, said the fire occurred in the laundry room of the first-year dorm and was extinguished.

No injuries were reported. But the smoke that started in the first-floor laundry room could be smelled on the dorm's third floor.

A photo of the dryer tweeted by Working@Duke showed the front part of the machine burned and sitting outside of the building as firefighters were around it.

Lawrence said that they do not currently know the cause of the fire.

At the scene, Rafael Ramos, a Duke University Police Department officer, said they were not sure if the issue was mechanical and that the cause was unknown at the time.

Joe Gonzalez, assistant vice president of student affairs and dean for residential life, told The Chronicle that "the dryer has been removed" but did not know much about the incident beyond that.

He added that the Duke Occupational and Environmental Safety Office on East Campus and the city fire marshal "would be the more formal investigators" who would be looking into the fire.

This is not Randolph's first fire incident involving a dryer. In November 2015, another dryer in the dorm—which contained a pizza box—caught fire, causing the sprinkler system to activate and residents to evacuate. That marked the second time that academic year when a Randolph dryer caught fire. 

Ben Leonard

Ben Leonard

Check back for updates to this developing story.


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