80 Students Sleep in Gym After Knoxville College Fire

Knoxville (WVLT) – Fire tonight at Knoxville College leaves students sleeping in close quarters.

The emergency management agency has to set up 80 beds in the gym her at Knoxville College for students. Colston Hall is in no condition for anyone to stay in overnight after fire ripped through the 3rd floor Monday evening.

"Everybody is like, your room on fire, room on fire...and all I see is a bunch of smoke coming out of my room," says Nino.

When firefighters arrived, they saw heavy flames shooting from the 3rd floor of Colston Hall at Knoxville College.

"All my friends are in, I was real worried, but quite frankly everybody was in the cafeteria so thank God for that," says Danielle Hall.

Ironically, Knoxville Firefighters were here in the morning reviewing their pre-plan so they new exactly how to handle the situation.

"What they do is look for hydrant locations and what they do to fight the fire," says Captain Darrell Whitaker of the Knoxville Fire Department.

Fire doors and systems all worked, keeping the fire out of the other rooms, but the hallway suffered extensive heat and smoke damage.

Fire doors and systems all worked, keeping the fire out of other rooms, but the hallway suffered extensive heat and smoke damage.

"We all looked at the window and saw smoke coming from the last window over there," says freshman Keosha Parker.

All this happened in the middle of a renovation.

"It's our hope to continue to use this dorm but that depends on the fire department," Dr. Johnnie Cannon says.

Officials let students in floor by floor to get items for overnight.

"All my stuff gone, smoke damage, I can't do nothing with that stuff," says Nino.

All though his stuff is gone...he is happy that he is okay.

"I wasn't in there asleep or the Lord was with me," Nino says.

Knoxville fire investigators are still searching for a cause. They will be on scene again tomorrow to get a better look.

Meanwhile, the community continues to support the college's history and renovations.

They're holding a historical musical celebration called "Peace by Piece."

It will be Friday, February 23rd at 7 p.m. at the Colston Center for the performing arts.

All proceeds benefit the Knoxville College.

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