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Portion of West Union Street remains closed following multiple structure fire.
 
 
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9:20 a.m., Nov. 17, 2014: A portion of West Union Street between Congress and Court streets remains closed Monday morning as the Athens Fire Department continues work in the area following a multiple structure fire that occurred on Sunday. An update will be provided once the roadway has been reopened.


6:55 p.m., Nov. 16, 2014:

Ohio University officials continue to assist and support students displaced and affected by a multiple structure fire that occurred early Sunday morning along Union Street in uptown Athens. The Division of Student Affairs and staff from throughout the University are working to ensure that affected students’ immediate housing, academic and other needs are being met through the remainder of fall semester.

“Our thoughts go out to our students and all the members of our University and Athens communities affected by this incident,” said Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis, who issued a statement on the fire earlier in the day. “My deepest thanks are extended to the first responders, Athens city and county officials, the local Red Cross, area businesses and residents, and members of the Bobcat family who assisted and continue to assist our affected students.”

The fire was initially reported around 4:10 a.m. Sunday at a building on the north side of West Union Street between Congress and Court streets. The flames spread to a total of five businesses, three of which house student rentals on their upper levels. Units from several area fire departments responded to the blaze, which was extinguished around 3 p.m.

Athens police evacuated the north block of West Union Street between Congress and Court streets and the west side of Court Street between Union Street and the alley next to Chipotle.

Approximately 40 OHIO students are known to have been displaced by the fire, with students in surrounding buildings affected when utilities in the area were shut down to battle the blaze. A total of 10 people, including four Ohio University students, three firefighters and three police officers, were treated and released. There were no other reported injuries or fatalities.

The University-occupied building at 31 S. Court St. was not damaged by the fire but did experience a utility shut-off. Electricity to the building was restored around 4:30 p.m.

Shortly after 7 a.m. Sunday, OHIO’s Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) was activated to discuss support for students displaced and affected by the fire, including students’ housing and academic needs. Baker University Center was opened as a comfort center to handle students’ immediate needs, and bins were set up to accept donations of personal items and clothing. Donated items will be available to affected students in Baker University Center 401, and donations are being accepted to the University’s Parents and Family Emergency Fund at www.ohio.edu/give (select OHIO Parents and Family Fund).

At 4 p.m. Sunday, officials from the Division of Student Affairs as well as representatives from Residential Housing, colleges and academic support units met with students affected by the fire and parents to address short-term needs and to answer questions.

Among the resources and assistance being provided to affected students are:

Walmart gift card

Bobcat Cash

A free OHIO 20-block meal plan

Short- and long-term housing options

Linen packets with comforters

Replacement OHIO ID cards free of charge from the Bobcat Depot and loaner computers

Temporary parking permits for parents on campus who are assisting their students

The Allen Student Help Center will be open as long as needed

Donated personal items and clothing

Assistance from the Southeastern Ohio chapter of the American Red Cross

In addition, University Transportation and Parking will be providing shuttle service as needed to and from local hotels where students are being temporarily housed. That service will be provided from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 17, and Tuesday, Nov. 18, and can be requested by calling 740-593-1611 during those hours.

“We want our students affected by this incident to know that we are here to support and assist them through this difficult time,” said Jenny Hall-Jones, associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students. “Bobcats are known for supporting one another, and I am truly overwhelmed by the outpouring of support I have seen today.”

The exact cause of the blaze remains undetermined and is under investigation. Congress and Court streets have been reopened to traffic. Union Street remained close between Congress and Court streets. City officials will be evaluating the possibility of reopening the roadway by early Monday morning.

Additional updates on the situation will be posted to www.ohio.edu/alert.

For additional city information, visit ci.athens.oh.us.


3 p.m., Nov. 16, 2014: The Athens fire chief has reported that the fire that broke out early this morning on West Union Street has been extinguished, and first responders are beginning to leave the scene.

The University will hold a meeting at 4 p.m. today in Baker University Center Ballroom to talk and share resources with students affected by the fire.

President Roderick J. McDavis issued a message regarding the fire earlier today.

Updates will continue to be posted at www.ohio.edu/alert.


Noon, Nov. 16, 2014: The fire that broke out early this morning along West Union Street in uptown Athens is under control while firefighters continue to extinguish hot spots.

Any student who needs assistance should attend a meeting being held at 4 p.m. today in the Baker University Center Ballroom.

The block of Union Street between Congress and College streets as well as the north sidewalks will remain closed until further notice. Court Street from President to Washington streets and Congress Street from Washington to Union streets also remain closed.

Power to 31 S. Court St. is expected to be restored sometime this afternoon.
Approximately 40 Ohio University students are known to have been displaced by the fire, with many of those students being temporarily housed in local hotels.

For those interested in assisting affected students, a donation station has been set up on the fourth floor of Baker University Center. According to OHIO officials, the affected students are in need of toiletries and warm clothing.

If you are contacted by affected students, please direct them to attend the 4 p.m. meeting.  

Updates will continue to be posted at www.ohio.edu/alert.

For additional city information, visit ci.athens.oh.us.


9:40 a.m., Nov. 16, 2014: Ohio University students affected by today’s Union Street fire are asked to attend a meeting with OHIO officials at 4 p.m. today on the fourth floor of Baker University Center.

The city of Athens has announced the following street closures due to the fire: Union Street from Congress to College streets; Court Street from President to Washington streets; and Congress Street from Washington to Union streets.

Updates will continue to be posted to www.ohio.edu/alert.


8:55 a.m., Nov. 16, 2014: Ohio University officials continue to work with students who have been displaced due to a fire that is still active on Union Street in downtown Athens. Approximately 30 students are affected, and Ohio University officials are working on providing those students with short-term housing and other immediate and short-term needs.

The closest Ohio University facility to the fire is 31 S. Court Street. Students housed there have been notified of the situation. Utilities to the affected block, including 31 S. Court Street, have been shut off.

Students affected by the fire and in need of assistance are encouraged to go to Baker University Center, which is being used as a comfort center.

The fire is located along Union Street between Congress and Court streets. Roads in that area have been closed, and the public is asked to avoid the area.

Regular updates will continue to be posted to www.ohio.edu/alert.


8:25 a.m., Nov. 16, 2014: Ohio University officials are working with about 30 students who were displaced due to a fire Sunday morning on Union Street in downtown Athens. Ohio University officials are working on providing short-term housing and other needs for the affected students.

The fire remains active, and regular updates will be posted to www.ohio.edu/alert.

 
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Further Information

9:20 a.m., Nov. 17, 2014: A portion of West Union Street between Congress and Court streets remains closed Monday morning as the Athens Fire Department continues work in the area following a multiple structure fire that occurred on Sunday. An update will be provided once the roadway has been reopened.


6:55 p.m., Nov. 16, 2014:

Ohio University officials continue to assist and support students displaced and affected by a multiple structure fire that occurred early Sunday morning along Union Street in uptown Athens. The Division of Student Affairs and staff from throughout the University are working to ensure that affected students’ immediate housing, academic and other needs are being met through the remainder of fall semester.

“Our thoughts go out to our students and all the members of our University and Athens communities affected by this incident,” said Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis, who issued a statement on the fire earlier in the day. “My deepest thanks are extended to the first responders, Athens city and county officials, the local Red Cross, area businesses and residents, and members of the Bobcat family who assisted and continue to assist our affected students.”

The fire was initially reported around 4:10 a.m. Sunday at a building on the north side of West Union Street between Congress and Court streets. The flames spread to a total of five businesses, three of which house student rentals on their upper levels. Units from several area fire departments responded to the blaze, which was extinguished around 3 p.m.

Athens police evacuated the north block of West Union Street between Congress and Court streets and the west side of Court Street between Union Street and the alley next to Chipotle.

Approximately 40 OHIO students are known to have been displaced by the fire, with students in surrounding buildings affected when utilities in the area were shut down to battle the blaze. A total of 10 people, including four Ohio University students, three firefighters and three police officers, were treated and released. There were no other reported injuries or fatalities.

The University-occupied building at 31 S. Court St. was not damaged by the fire but did experience a utility shut-off. Electricity to the building was restored around 4:30 p.m.

Shortly after 7 a.m. Sunday, OHIO’s Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) was activated to discuss support for students displaced and affected by the fire, including students’ housing and academic needs. Baker University Center was opened as a comfort center to handle students’ immediate needs, and bins were set up to accept donations of personal items and clothing. Donated items will be available to affected students in Baker University Center 401, and donations are being accepted to the University’s Parents and Family Emergency Fund at www.ohio.edu/give (select OHIO Parents and Family Fund).

At 4 p.m. Sunday, officials from the Division of Student Affairs as well as representatives from Residential Housing, colleges and academic support units met with students affected by the fire and parents to address short-term needs and to answer questions.

Among the resources and assistance being provided to affected students are:

Walmart gift card

Bobcat Cash

A free OHIO 20-block meal plan

Short- and long-term housing options

Linen packets with comforters

Replacement OHIO ID cards free of charge from the Bobcat Depot and loaner computers

Temporary parking permits for parents on campus who are assisting their students

The Allen Student Help Center will be open as long as needed

Donated personal items and clothing

Assistance from the Southeastern Ohio chapter of the American Red Cross

In addition, University Transportation and Parking will be providing shuttle service as needed to and from local hotels where students are being temporarily housed. That service will be provided from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 17, and Tuesday, Nov. 18, and can be requested by calling 740-593-1611 during those hours.

“We want our students affected by this incident to know that we are here to support and assist them through this difficult time,” said Jenny Hall-Jones, associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students. “Bobcats are known for supporting one another, and I am truly overwhelmed by the outpouring of support I have seen today.”

The exact cause of the blaze remains undetermined and is under investigation. Congress and Court streets have been reopened to traffic. Union Street remained close between Congress and Court streets. City officials will be evaluating the possibility of reopening the roadway by early Monday morning.

Additional updates on the situation will be posted to www.ohio.edu/alert.

For additional city information, visit ci.athens.oh.us.


3 p.m., Nov. 16, 2014: The Athens fire chief has reported that the fire that broke out early this morning on West Union Street has been extinguished, and first responders are beginning to leave the scene.

The University will hold a meeting at 4 p.m. today in Baker University Center Ballroom to talk and share resources with students affected by the fire.

President Roderick J. McDavis issued a message regarding the fire earlier today.

Updates will continue to be posted at www.ohio.edu/alert.


Noon, Nov. 16, 2014: The fire that broke out early this morning along West Union Street in uptown Athens is under control while firefighters continue to extinguish hot spots.

Any student who needs assistance should attend a meeting being held at 4 p.m. today in the Baker University Center Ballroom.

The block of Union Street between Congress and College streets as well as the north sidewalks will remain closed until further notice. Court Street from President to Washington streets and Congress Street from Washington to Union streets also remain closed.

Power to 31 S. Court St. is expected to be restored sometime this afternoon.
Approximately 40 Ohio University students are known to have been displaced by the fire, with many of those students being temporarily housed in local hotels.

For those interested in assisting affected students, a donation station has been set up on the fourth floor of Baker University Center. According to OHIO officials, the affected students are in need of toiletries and warm clothing.

If you are contacted by affected students, please direct them to attend the 4 p.m. meeting.  

Updates will continue to be posted at www.ohio.edu/alert.

For additional city information, visit ci.athens.oh.us.


9:40 a.m., Nov. 16, 2014: Ohio University students affected by today’s Union Street fire are asked to attend a meeting with OHIO officials at 4 p.m. today on the fourth floor of Baker University Center.

The city of Athens has announced the following street closures due to the fire: Union Street from Congress to College streets; Court Street from President to Washington streets; and Congress Street from Washington to Union streets.

Updates will continue to be posted to www.ohio.edu/alert.


8:55 a.m., Nov. 16, 2014: Ohio University officials continue to work with students who have been displaced due to a fire that is still active on Union Street in downtown Athens. Approximately 30 students are affected, and Ohio University officials are working on providing those students with short-term housing and other immediate and short-term needs.

The closest Ohio University facility to the fire is 31 S. Court Street. Students housed there have been notified of the situation. Utilities to the affected block, including 31 S. Court Street, have been shut off.

Students affected by the fire and in need of assistance are encouraged to go to Baker University Center, which is being used as a comfort center.

The fire is located along Union Street between Congress and Court streets. Roads in that area have been closed, and the public is asked to avoid the area.

Regular updates will continue to be posted to www.ohio.edu/alert.


8:25 a.m., Nov. 16, 2014: Ohio University officials are working with about 30 students who were displaced due to a fire Sunday morning on Union Street in downtown Athens. Ohio University officials are working on providing short-term housing and other needs for the affected students.

The fire remains active, and regular updates will be posted to www.ohio.edu/alert.

 
Critical Incident

If an emergency is a critical incident, or becomes a critical incident, you can find information through:

  • Ohio University's Homepage
  • Your campus e-mail (@ohio.edu accounts)
  • Text message
  • Ohio University’s Facebook and Twitter accounts
  • Campus televisions connected to CATvision
  • Outdoor emergency notification system
  • 740.597.1800 for a recorded message (on Athens campus, 7-1800)
  • Non-tech methods (on-the-ground teams, bullhorns, posted alerts, etc.)
 
Questions?
If you have questions about the University's emergency notification system, please send an e-mail to etm@ohio.edu
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