Today at 2:12 PM the Holland Department of Public Safety - Fire Division was dispatched to a report of a commercial fire at Gilmore Hall, located at 143 East 10th Street on the Campus of Hope College. Dispatch information received while enroute indicated that there was a working fire in the basement laundry room. Upon arrival at 2:17 PM units reported no indication of fire from the exterior. Upon entry to the basement firefighters identified a heavy smoke condition with an active fire in the laundry room. Automatic fire protection installed in the room contained the fire until personnel could complete extinguishment. Firefighters remained on scene until 4:30 PM to assist with ventilation of smoke from the basement.
Direct fire damage was limited to equipment in the laundry room. Smoke spread beyond the basement was limited due to properly maintained fire doors that were closed during the incident. There were no injuries to occupants or responding fire personnel. Quick action by Hope College Campus Safety personnel, is credited for providing a rapid and orderly evacuation of all occupants of this multi-story residence hall. This greatly reduced the potential for injury.
Although students were temporarily displaced due the fire. Hope College Physical Plant personnel were able to fully restore the buildings fire alarm and fire protection systems allowing them to return around 6:00 PM.
The cause is under investigation, however it appears the the fire originated in a clothes dryer that was in use at the time. The Holland Police Department and American Medical Response assisted during this incident.