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Fire Displaces About 80 Students at Concordia

University: No one is seriously injured in blaze that destroys dormitory apartment at school in Irvine. Damage is estimated at $70,000.


An unattended candle apparently started a fire that destroyed a dormitory apartment Monday at Concordia University in Irvine, forcing about 80 students to flee their living quarters.

One student was treated at a hospital for smoke inhalation, authorities said.

"We are thankful no one was [seriously] injured," said Mary Scott, spokeswoman for the Christian liberal arts college, which has enrollment of about 1,200.

The fire started about 1 p.m. in a bedroom at Kappa Hall, a residence with two-bedroom units housing four students each, Scott said.

The fire was contained within 20 minutes but caused about $50,000 in structural damage and $20,000 in damage to the contents of the unit, fire investigators said.

Veronica Covington, 19, who lives three doors from the burned unit, was in the dorm when the fire started. "An alarm went off, and people were yelling to get out," she said. "I grabbed my purse and a pair of flip-flops and ran. It was scary at first. I didn't know what was going on."

University officials said they expected most of the displaced students to return to their rooms by the end of the day.

The four whose unit was destroyed were to move into another dorm on campus.

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