Fire in Wicks

Erin Corcoran (

On August 31, a peaceful evening in the first week of classes turned into a chaotic one for residents of Wicks. The Main Street house’s oven caught fire after a student heated it with a metal soup can on a plastic plate inside. The student, who was unaware of the leftover soup can, preheated the oven, began smelling smoke and contacted Campus Safety following the ignition of the oven. Assessing the scope of the situation, Campus Safety notified the Collegeville and Perkiomen Township Fire Departments for additional help. The departments evacuated the building in a timely manner, and the fire was contained to the oven and did not spread elsewhere. 

Wicks resident Dora Zeibekis ’24 recalls, “It was confusing to wrap my head around what was going on, but as soon as I saw the smoke… I frantically reached for my phone and called campus safety.” Sophie Louis ’24 added, “I’m glad nobody got hurt,” and said she was “shocked” after learning the source of the fire.

Campus Safety advises students against storing items of any kind in the communal ovens. Further, make sure to check the ovens before cooking in the event an object is left inside. The Perkiomen Fire Department echoed these sentiments and shared more cooking fire safety tips in an Instagram post. 

As residential students, we all have responsibilities to keep our communal spaces safe and clean to protect ourselves and the campus at large. Especially at the start of the semester, re-adjustments to residential living can be difficult, yet vigilance is essential to the success and safety of shared spaces. In the case of a fire, or evidence of one, pull the nearest alarm and evacuate the building if possible. Campus Safety defines evidence of fire as “sight of smoke or fire, odorous evidence of burning, or concentrations of flammable gasses.”

Questions or concerns about shared spaces can be addressed to Campus Safety, Residence Life, or your hall’s RA. Have a safe semester, Bears!