Princeton dorms hit by second fire

March 23, 1993 (~estimated)

Princeton dorms hit by second fire

By Mary Caffrey

Staff Writer

PRINCETON TOWNSHIP —For the second time in a week, scores of Princeton University students scurried out of a dormitory yesterday because of fire.

This time the blaze was in the Forbes College Annex, where roughly 36 students live. All three volunteer companies of the Princeton Fire Department went to the 3:46 p.m. fire, according to Lt. Mario Musso.

A volunteer firefighter, Cory Lopez of Princeton Hook & Ladder, injured her knee and was treated at the Medical Center at Princeton. Lopez is a Princeton University student.

About 40 firefighters answered the alarm, Fire Chief Ray Bianco said. All companies respond to any fire in a dormitory, he said.

The fire began in Room 144 when student Jonah Bossewitch tried to melt a candle into a bottle, Musso said. Bossewitch told police he put out a match and tossed it into a trash can and left the bottle and candle on a crate. He then left the room.

Bossewitch heard the fire alarm go off about 10 minutes later and tried to return to his room, but he saw smoke under his door, police said. Public safety officers called in the fire, and Princeton fire-fighters had the blaze under control by 4:30 p.m., Musso said.

STUDENT ERIC GILLMAN, who lives across the hall from Bossewitch, said he was taking a nap when the alarm went off. Like other students interviewed yesterday, Gillman said he didn’t leave at first because “alarms go off all the time.”

Then, Gillman heard someone banging on individual room doors and urging people to leave the building. “I stepped outside and saw smoke in the hallway,” he said. Gillman said he then called the public safety office.

“When the proctor arrived, he opened the door and flames were shooting out,” Gillman said. Other students reported seeing flames coming from Bossewitch’s window.

Bossewitch was not hurt. His room was badly damaged, according to Bianco, who concurred with student reports that alarms are very sensitive and go off frequently.

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