GW Leaders Thank Students for Patience Following Thurston Hall Evacuation

Thirteen rooms in Thurston Hall are being evaluated for water damage following a Friday fire.

Thurston Hall
Residents of all but 13 rooms were able to return to Thurston Hall in the early morning hours on Saturday.
November 18, 2019

Approximately 40 George Washington University students were displaced Friday following a fire in a room on the third floor of Thurston Hall. No students were injured in the fire, which was quickly put out by the building’s sprinkler system.

At this time, the cause of the fire is still under investigation. The university is working around the clock to mitigate water damage and will continue to communicate with the group of students whose rooms were directly affected.

Residents were evacuated from Thurston Hall at about 9 p.m. Friday when the fire alarm went off. George Washington University’s Police Department and D.C. Fire and EMS immediately responded to the residence hall and identified the cause of the alarm to be from a fire in a room on the building’s third floor. GW staff moved the evacuated students to the Marvin Center. While students were waiting to hear about the condition of their residence hall, the university provided pizza and snacks. The university also provided breakfast to all residents in the lobby of Thurston Hall Saturday morning. 

Since Friday, the university has been evaluating the damage caused by the water from the sprinkler system, affecting some rooms on the first, second and third floors. Residents of all but 13 rooms were able to return to Thurston Hall in the early morning hours on Saturday. The university has been working closely with affected residents to provide alternative living arrangements and an assessment of their belongings. 

In a message to parents and families of Thurston residents, M.L. “Cissy” Petty, vice president for student affairs and dean of students, thanked students for their patience and cooperation Friday night as the university worked to accommodate everyone’s needs. 

“They really stepped up, showing each other kindness and assistance,” she said.

Families of GW students should contact [email protected] with any questions.

University News