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St. Panthers Fire: The Prequel to the Purchapocalypse

Updated: Oct 4, 2021

by Cameron Meyn

The Purchase Fire Department Outside of M4-4 (photo by Cameron Meyn)

A small fire broke out at Commons Apartment M4-4 on the evening of

Wednesday, Sept. 2, mere hours before the remnants of Hurricane Ida rocked SUNY


The fire, which brought the RAs, University Police and even the local fire

department to the scene, was speedily extinguished by the authorities. Although

no one was injured, residents of the Commons gathered on the lawn in between the blocks, awestruck and shocked at the event.

“I was afraid that my apartment was going to burn down,” said Robert Olsen, a Commons resident. “I live right next to where the apartment was, and it was pretty scary.”

The fire started when one of the apartment’s residents was trying to cook

something on the stovetop, but proceeded to get out of control. After the residents (including the author) tried to stop the fire with the apartment’s extinguisher, the entirety of the apartment block was evacuated and the RAs alerted the authorities.

“We were trying to make something for dinner,” a resident of M4-4 said. The resident did not specify what they were trying to cook.

The stove after being removed by the Purchase Fire Department (Photo by Cameron Meyn)

After the fire department arrived, they elected to open the windows of the apartment and remove the stove that the fire started on. They then ripped out the stove and carried it to the ground level, gutting the kitchen walls in the


The M4-4 kitchen following the fire and the stove being removed (Photo by Cameron Meyn)

After the authorities left, the residents of M4-4 were moved to another

apartment due to safety concerns, and those in the apartment below M4-4 stayed in another residence for one night.

In the days following the incident, M4-4’s residents came to the apartment to retrieve their belongings, and the stove was moved away, presumably to be disposed of. Although expected for a renovation in the near future, M4-4’s state for the remainder of this semester currently remains uncertain.



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