Early Morning Fire at Orr Hall Displaces UW Students

An early morning fire — believed to be contained to one room in Orr Hall — displaced more than 200 University of Wyoming students, who were temporarily housed in Washakie Dining Center’s lower level. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

One minor injury was reported, according to the UW Police Department (UWPD). The fire was reported around 1 a.m., and UW Residence Life and Dining Services (RLDS) staff and UWPD officers went to each floor to evacuate students. The Laramie Fire Department (LFD) was quickly on the scene. UW electricians also were on the scene.

Fire and water damage was confined to just the one room on the second floor, and some smoke was reported on the same floor. LFD personnel conducted a carbon monoxide test Tuesday morning before allowing students back into Orr Hall.

“Students are still in the Shoshone Room in the lower level of Washakie Dining Center, primarily those students who did not have anywhere else to go for the night,” UWPD Chief Mike Samp says. “There was one minor injury reported. Residence Life staff did a great job helping to ensure that this situation was handled as quickly and safely as possible for all of those students and staff involved.”

Associate Vice President and Dean of Students Ryan O’Neil actually was in Orr Hall overnight supporting the Residence Life team when the fire was first reported.

“The resident assistants and housing team did a fantastic job prioritizing and evacuating everyone. They helped to ensure that overnight accommodations were made available to students in the Shoshone Room,” O’Neil says. “The staff was incredible helping students and each other.”

Mattresses and linens were provided for nearly 30 students housed overnight in the Shoshone Room. Remaining students stayed at friends’ homes, or with students housed on Fraternity/Sorority Row or other places, O’Neil says.

The Residence Life team will notify Orr Hall residents when they are allowed to return to their residence hall rooms, anticipated sometime this morning. The Dean of Students team is working to support students who have been impacted or were unable to attend classes Tuesday morning.