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    Students Amanda Monyko and Mackenzie Walsh, right, rub smoke-irritated eyes while waiting to retrieve their belongings from Mariposa Hall.


    Firefighter Ed Vizcaino checks Mariposa Hall at Sacramento State.

Suspicious fires close two buildings at Sacramento State

Published: Friday, Oct. 14, 2011 - 12:00 am | Page 2B
Last Modified: Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012 - 3:54 pm

Fires that authorities called suspicious shut down two buildings at California State University, Sacramento, on Thursday afternoon, and another burned in a garbage can outside a third building.

At 2:48 p.m., thick smoke was reported on the fifth floor of Mendocino Hall, said Craig Koscho, a CSUS spokesman. When Sacramento Fire Department personnel arrived, they determined that a chair was on fire, said Kim Nava, a CSUS spokeswoman. Someone was trapped on the fifth floor, but was rescued by the fire crews and did not require medical attention.

The second fire, on the fourth floor of Mariposa Hall, was reported about 3:15 p.m.

Both buildings were evacuated, and no injuries were reported from either fire.

About 15 minutes later, a third fire was reported in a garbage can outside of Eureka Hall, Nava said.

Koscho said the fires were "suspicious in nature." He said campus officials had not identified a suspect.

Sacramento Fire Department Assistant Fire Chief Niko King said he was not prepared to say that the fires were deliberately set, but he did say they were not accidental.

Because the fires occurred on a state university campus, the state Fire Marshal's Office will work with the Sacramento Fire Department on the investigation.

King said there was considerable smoke in the buildings, and the odor is likely to remain for some time. Firefighters are using blowers to remove the smoke.

Classes in Mendocino and Mariposa halls were canceled Thursday evening. Classes will resume today in Mendocino Hall but are canceled in Mariposa Hall, according to the university's website.

For information about the fires and class schedule changes, CSUS is updating its Facebook and Twitter pages, along with its homepage. The university also provided a phone number for information regarding the fires, (916) 278-1600.

Anyone who has information about the fires is asked to call campus police at (916) 278-6581.

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