Fire forces 250 students out of Eastern Michigan University's Phelps Hall dorm

1 student being treated for smoke inhalation


YPSILANTI, Mich. – A fire shut down an Eastern Michigan University dorm building early Tuesday morning.

Phelps Hall, a predominantly freshman dorm building, has been evacuated. About 250 students were relocated to other buildings for the night.

One student, who was rescued from a window, is being treated for smoke inhalation.

The fire is believed to have started in a lounge area, but the exact cause of the fire remains unknown.

"I woke up to pounding on doors, and screaming, more like yelling for everyone to get up," said Payton Osentoski, a freshman. "I had to wake up my roommate because she was still sleeping, then when I went downstairs I saw smoke out of the 1st floor and we covered our mouths because you could see the smoke."

Osentoski said she slept in her car for a couple of hours. 

Some students thought it was a drill because the dorm just had a fire drill about 9 p.m. Monday. 

"I wasn't going to get up until I heard people yelling, 'It's real, it's real!'" she said. 

A university spokesman said most students have been allowed to return to their rooms.

"Most of the students in Phelps Hall have been allowed to return to their rooms after the overnight fire in the lounge area on the main floor. That floor remains closed and students who live on that floor have been relocated to other space on campus temporarily until the main floor is reopened. The cause of the fire has not been determined," the university spokesman said.

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