King's students were evacuated after midnight and not allowed to return to their rooms for 2 hoursAgustin Ferrari-Braun with permission for Varsity

An early-morning blaze in a King’s College laundry room led to students being evacuated and the fire brigade being called.

A laundrette in the College’s Market Hostel accommodation set fire in the early hours of Monday morning (16/10). The accommodation block’s fire alarm was rung at just past midnight, as students were evacuated from their rooms and told to congregate in the College bar.

Students were instructed by porters to wait in the bar while the fire was put out.

The fire brigade was called at 12:44 a.m., according to Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Services’ incidents log. According to the report, firefighters arrived to find a tumble dryer on fire, which they used a hose to extinguish, before clearing the room of smoke.

By 2 a.m. the fire brigade had departed and students were allowed back into the building.

The fire was deemed an accident, with students reportedly being told that someone had put their clothes in the tumble dryer for too long. An eye-witness said the fire brigade took out a box of burning clothes from the laundry room and extinguished them.

One student, who was evacuated during the blaze, said: “We were a bit freaked out by the fact there was an actual fire as most of us thought it was a drill.”

“College handled the fire fairly well, [but] we were outside for about two hours while we waited,” they said.


Mountain View

Just Stop Oil spray-paint King’s orange

But the student also added that the event has made them “anxious to use the laundry,” with “the laundry room still smell[ing] terrible”.

A King’s College spokesperson said: “All students were directed to their personal tutors in the first instance if they were adversely impacted by the events of that night. The Senior Tutor informed all Directors of Studies of the situation and that it may have impacts on their students’ studies in the coming days.”

“The incident is still being investigated, and the laundrette is now open and fully operational,” the spokesperson said.