All students are safe, accounted for and being supported by the Student Life Office at Saint Michael's College after a fire early this morning in Townhouse 105, with Townhouses 101 through 106 also affected. Peter Soons, Director of Public Safety and chief of the college's fire and rescue squads, says that fire and emergency personnel are at the scene and controlling the situation. Traffic is being diverted around the campus road near the fire site in the Townhouse residential area known as Boutin Commons on the northeast end of the main campus, not far from the International Commons building. Saint Michael's Public Safety and Student Life officials say 22 students were displaced by the fire, and suitable alternative housing will be found for them as soon as possible. In the meantime, the Red Cross is on the scene providing clothing and food for all the affected students. The fire call came in by telephone at 3:28 a.m. and Mutual Aid was activated. Fire and emergency squads responding included Saint Michael’s Fire and Rescue, Colchester, Winooski, Malletts Bay and Essex Junction. Dawn Ellinwood, vice president for student affairs, and Lou DiMasi, director of student life/assistant dean of students, were on the scene along with Soons shortly after word of the fire came in to assist with students to assure their well-being, and to help them get in touch with families to let them know they were safe. Cause of the fire is still under investigation.
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