A fire broke out in a student’s room at Worcester College early last Saturday, 4 May, causing extensive damage to the room and forcing the evacuation of the building for 90 minutes. 

The incident took place at 7.30 in the morning in the Ruskin building. A second  year student, who wishes to remain anonymous, was using her hairdryer when it caught fire. In panic, she dropped the flaming hairdryer onto her bed, which then also caught fire.  

Students from the Ruskin building were evacuated for 90 minutes. Upon their return, a pervasive smell of smoke is said to have lingered. The student’s room where the fire began was “completely soot-coated” and her mattress was reduced to just its springs. No other rooms suffered damage.

It remains unclear when, or if, the student will be able to move back into her room this term, and how much of her possessions are recoverable.  

While most students evacuated Ruskin quickly, one student took five minutes to emerge “in a dressing gown reading a book” assumedly thinking that it was a false alarm. He was subsequently told off by the porters. 

The Ruskin building is one of Worcester‘s newer accommodation blocks, having been built in 2007.  

Worcester College did not respond to requests for comment.