Lehigh Student Burned in Off-Campus Fire

One Lehigh student burned, another student praised for guiding roommates to safety. Eight students displaced because of blaze at Montclair Avenue double.


A Lehigh University student was hospitalized with burns and another was hailed as a hero following a two-alarm fire in off-campus housing that left eight students homeless early today.

The 2 a.m. fire at 447 Montclair Ave. apparently started in the bedroom of student Andrew Douglas and burned through the first floor of one half of a twin, according to The Express Times.

Douglas was taken to the burn unit at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Salisbury Township, but his injuries are not considered life threatening, the newspaper reported.

One Lehigh University police officer also had to be treated for smoke inhalation, according to an email to the campus community from John W. Smeaton, the university’s vice provost for student affairs.

The cause of the fire, which was extinguished in about a half hour, is under investigation by the Bethlehem Fire Department.

In the news report, Bethlehem Deputy Fire Commissioner Robert Novatnack praised Douglas’s roommate, Brian Hruza, for acting quickly to get everyone out of the house and away from danger.

Lehigh University’s Dean of Students Office is providing alternative housing to eight students who lived on both sides of the double, Smeaton wrote. The university is also working with the students to help them with other immediate needs.

Smeaton also wrote that several people in the university community contacted his office to ask what they might do to help.


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