(WEAU) La Crosse- A fire in the basement of Drake Hall at UW-La Crosse set off smoke alarms at 4:23 a.m. Sunday morning.
Students had to be evacuated and relocated.
No one was injured in the fire and security alarms worked like they were supposed to, but the building didn’t have a sprinkler system.
Drake Hall Resident, Noelle Griffiths was stunned when she realized it wasn't a drill.
“It was weird, we saw orange flames coming out of the basement windows and it was just kind of hard to believe," said Griffiths.
The 1960’s era building has no sprinkler system, and neither does any of the other low rise dorms.
“It was an older building, and when it was constructed there were no sprinkler systems around. When State guidelines came out we didn't have to do the low rise buildings," Nick Nicklaus/ Director of Residential Life.
Sprinkler systems will be added to the Master Plan for renovating the residential halls over the next decade says Nicklaus.
“We are going to be doing master planning and bringing all the dorms up to speed. As we bring everything into the 21st century yes, we will be sprinkling all of our buildings," said Nicklaus.
Students from Drake Hall that didn’t have a friends place to stay last night ended up at Eagle Hall Basement.
Thave been provided with all the essentials such as showers, beds, toothbrushes, and deodorant.
They will have to stay at the Eagle Hall basement again tonight, and it's unsure how much longer.
“Originally we were hopeful that might be something fairly quick, but now it looks like its going to be longer than just several days,” said Nicklaus.
But students seem to be adapting well.
“The accommodations that they've set up for us are fantastic. It’s been considerably comfortable considering the circumstance. They've decorated the first hall and basement for us. Eagle Hall has been amazing,” said Jordan Goldberg, a Resident Advisor for Drake Hall.
Many students hope to get back to their beds as soon as possible.
“I think all of us have the itch to go back. We all love Drake Hall, but we have no idea what the time table is going to be," said Goldberg.
If it does end up being more than a couple days waiting for Drake Hall to become livable again, Nicklaus says they will be able to find rooms for everyone.
“I know we will be able to accommodate all of the residents, all 270 of them, somewhere,” said Nicklaus.