A 19-year-old male set fire to a Digman Hall elevator at 2:26 a.m. Wednesday. The fire, which was contained to the first floor elevator, caused no injuries, but students were forced to evacuate the building until nearly 5 a.m., when police and fire officials could be sure that the building was clear of smoke and that there were no mechanical hazards in the elevator.
According to Investigator Patrick Reilly of Binghamton’s New York State University Police, the fire started when “some kind of combustible material” was ignited. The suspect was arrested on second-degree arson charges, a Class B felony and taken to the Vestal Town Court where he is being held without bail.
Harry Catalani, a resident of Digman Hall, said he was startled by the 2:30 a.m. alarm, and had to wait in Chenango Champlain Collegiate Center until 4:45 a.m.
“I was definitely more annoyed that I was outside in the cold while my building was on fire than nervous,” said Catalani, a freshman majoring in political science.
Casey Wall, the assistant director of Newing College who is currently overseeing Dickinson Community as well, said she could not comment on the investigation, as it was still open.
Vestal Fire Department arrived and assumed control of the situation, and the Broome County Bureau of Fire Investigation is currently reviewing the facts of the case.