Ames and Iowa State University officials will spend a little more time closing the file on a Friday-night call to a fire reported in one of the ISU dorms. Commander of Special Operations Gene Deisinger says by the time police and fire crews arrived at Larch Hall, the fire was out but there was heavy smoke in one of the rooms. The dorm was evacuated during the fire alarm and then students were let back in except for the part of one floor where the fire originated, where they spent a few more hours investigating.
He says the fire was not accidental, but doesn’t seem to have involved intentional damage or vandalism. One of the rooms contained chemicals that had been heated or ignited, and burned out or the occupants put it out, creating a lot of heavy smoke. A student in the smoky room apparently lit materials similar to smoke-bomb or model-rocket fuel, but Deisinger wouldn’t say whether there will be formal charges. Till the investigation’s done he says it would only be speculation, though the commander says one thing’s clear — the fire apparently was not set on purpose to cause damage.