A fire early Friday on the eighth floor of Koonce Hall, a high-rise residence hall at Kent State University, is being labeled suspicious, according to authorities.
No one was hurt in the incident, which caused the evacuation of the residence hall and caused eight fire departments to respond.
Koonce Hall, off Leebrick Drive, is one of the Tri-Towers residence halls. It houses about 500 students and is 10 stories tall.
A hand sanitizer dispenser in the eighth floor hallway was set on fire and destroyed, according to KSU spokeswoman Emily Vincent. A Flash Alert went out to the campus community at 2:43 a.m., informing students and others to stay away from the area while firefighters worked, she said.
Kent Fire Chief Dave Manthey said the call for an "active fire" came in at 2:27 a.m. The first crews arrived as the building was being evacuated, he said.
The fire, which caused damage to a wall, was under control within 20 minutes, Manthey said. Firefighters ventilated the building, pumped in clean air and cleared the scene just before 4 a.m.
Firefighters from the Aurora, Brimfield, Mantua/Shalersville, Ravenna city, Ravenna Township, Rootstown, Stow and Streetsboro fire departments responded to the incident, Manthey said. Suffield and Tallmadge paramedics also assisted by handling "a bunch" of emergency medical calls that came in while Kent firefighters were busy, he said.
Vincent said anyone with information is asked to call KSU police at 330-672-3070, the university Threat Line at 330-672-SAFE or online at www.kent.edu/ThreatLine.
"Certainly the health and safety of our campus community is our top priority and we are glad that no one was hurt," she said.
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