Student Life Editor
A fun gathering, turned dangerous when Linden Hall’s kitchen became engulfed in flames on Wednesday, April 24.
The Voices of Triumph Gospel Choir reserved Linden’s kitchen to prepare and cook 250 empanadas for their fundraiser the following day.
“Next thing I know flames as high as the ceiling covered the kitchen,” said, senior, Lydia Johnson.
Nilda Paduani, junior, said she placed a pan with oil on the stove as she normally would, but this time the stove ignited a fire.
Other than the cabinets and walls that were burnt, there was no significant damage done.
Linden is one of the five traditional residential halls but is not due for renovations just yet. Both Shawnee and Minis Halls are closed for renovations.
One RA in Linden told Paduani that many residences have complained about issues with the stove’s burner, but there were no changes done.
There were aluminum foil and food remnants underneath the stove’s burner, which looked strange to Paduani. She explained that she lived in Linden hall for years and had no idea the stove was such an issue for students.
According to Paduani, she put the frying pan onto the burner and filled it with fresh oil. She turned the stove on medium and she stepped away to let the pan heat up.
Paduani said she looked away for a few seconds and then another student noticed the pan was smoking. She then looked at the burner and was in shocked and disbelief when she saw the burner was a bright orange even though it was only on a medium setting and for a short time.
When Paduani went towards the pan to turn it off and remove it from the stove it then burst into flames.
Johnson said she when she realized how serious the situation had become, she elbowed open the fire extinguisher, which Johnson noted: “it was plastic and not glass, like the movies.”
Aside from telling other students, the RA told campus police that many students had complained about the faulty burner.
According to Nathan Black, ESU’s manager of Environmental, Health, and Safety, there are no records on any work order being submitted surrounding the burner.
No one was harmed during the fire. Mo’Naje Walker, Paduani, Moriah Hawkins and Lydia Johnson used the fire extinguisher to put the fire out.
The stove has been replaced and maintenance has cleaned the scorched areas of the kitchen.
Dr. Brenda Friday, director of University Relations, explained that the fire is currently being investigated. The report will be available once the investigation is complete.
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