University of Kentucky investigating fires at residence hall

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The University of Kentucky is investigating after a student allegedly set two fires in a residence hall last week.

The University of Kentucky is investigating after a student allegedly set two fires in a residence hall last week.

cbertram@herald-leader.com

The University of Kentucky is investigating two fires that were purposely set by a student in a residence hall, the university announced Wednesday.

The first fire happened Jan. 16, UK said in a statement. UK said the student used a roll of paper towels to start the fire.

“The fire was immediately extinguished in a sink by another student,” UK said in a statement. “A similar incident occurred in the same residence hall the next day, Jan. 17, by the same student.”

UK said such incidents can be considered third-degree arson, a class D felony. But the university didn’t say if the student had been charged.

UK Police and the UK Fire Marshal’s Office were investigating this case, UK said.

UK said it values safety for all students, staff, faculty and visitors and offered the following precautions:

  • Call 911 for emergencies. If you see something, say something.
  • Download the LiveSafe App to report suspicious persons loitering around facilities.
  • Carry a cell phone to be able to call for help in case of emergencies.
  • In the event that you smell smoke, dial 911 immediately.
  • If you locate a fire, pull the fire alarm and then dial 911. Don’t attempt to extinguish a fire unless you are properly trained to do so.
  • Anytime a fire alarm is activated, evacuate the building immediately.
  • Know the primary and secondary escape routes for each location, should an actual fire occur.

This is a developing story and may be updated.

Chris Leach is a breaking news reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader. He joined the newspaper in September 2021 after previously working with the Anderson News and the Cats Pause. Chris graduated from UK in December 2018.
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