“Everything seemed so surreal,” said Caroline Dickey ’10.
Still at school for a basketball tournament, Dickey and Jill Bernard ’10 were in Rosenwald when they realized the halls smelled like smoke. “We looked outside at Albany Road and saw flashing red and blue lights.”
Although Shumway Dorm Resident Ann-Marie White informed the girls about the fire, “I was so nervous about the fire, I couldn’t go to sleep,” Dickey stated. “I kept looking at my window and more and more fire trucks kept arriving every half hour which only increased my anxiety.”
At 12:30am, Dickey was still awake, so Dr. White allowed her to watch the fire.
“It was the coldest night of the year, but the entire south bubble was smoking. Firefighters pulled down the green dining hall drapes and knocked the glass in the windows. It was all so overwhelming.”
Dickey finally went back to her room at 1:30am. “I closed my curtains and tried to sleep, but it was difficult knowing how close the fire was to my dorm.”
Fellow senior and basketball player Jacque Hulburd ’10 was also on campus and even became an indirect victim of the fire through her backpack, still in the dining hall when the fire started. “I emailed Mrs. Paige and she said she would call the fire department.” Yet Hulburd’s chances were slim for the fire department had bagged and thrown everything away.
Luckily, Hulburd was able to recover her backpack. Gusty Clarke ’10 found it in the basement of the dining hall. “But it was a bit strange,” she noted, “two books had been removed from my bag and I found them upstairs instead… Nobody told me; I had to get everything myself. I’m still missing my calculator.”
The fire of the 17th was clearly an overwhelming shock for those on campus that night and an unfortunate hassle for those affected by it indirectly.