Mattress Fire Tuesday In Little Hall Basement

22 May, 1992 (~estimated)

Mattress Fire Tuesday In Little Hall Basement

Although its cause has not yet been determined, Borough police are labeling as “suspicious” a mattress fire in the basement of Little Hall on the University campus early Tues-day morning.

Suspicious, said Lt. Charles Hayed, because of the area in which it was located. If the fire had spread it could have caused a lot of problems to students in a dorm room directly above the fire, he said. “If smoke had filtered into the room, it’s possible some could have succumbed”

Lt. Davall confirmed that no accelerants were found.

Police received a call at 2:19 from the University dispatcher reporting a smoke condition at Little Hall. Police and firemen responding discovered smoke coming from the basement near the mail room. A proctor, Lt. Davall said had discovered a mattress on fire, one of a pile of one stacked on top of each other. Only the top mattress was ablaze.

The room containing the mattresses was still locked when proctors got there, Lt. Davall said. There was no sign of any attempted forced entry. An hour before, he added, Were had been a report of smoke in the building but proctors could not find anything.

Two vent holes lead up from the room to a common hallway above. It is possible, Lt. Davall conceded, that someone may have dropped something down the vent to start the fire.

Riding Mower Fire

Township police reported a fire involving a John Deere lawn mower tractor.

A resident of Heather Lane, Lt. Mario Musso reported, was putting gas into the riding mower inside his garage Saturday evening when there was an overspill. After starting the engine, the owner was exiting the garage when the mower deck struck a concrete edge, producing some sparks.

The resident called police at 7:24 after he felt a strong sense of heat under the mower deck and saw flames. One fire truck and six firemen responded but upon thier arrival they found that Robert Toole, a Township patrol officer and fireman, had put out the fire with a garden hose belonging to the owner.

There was extensive damage, however, to the rear engine area of the mower.

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