Students allowed back into homes after off-campus fire

The three-alarm fire forced approximately 100 students to evacuate Monday night.

The Philadelphia Fire Department responds to a fire at 16th and Oxford streets that broke out late Monday night. | JUSTIN OAKES / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple issued an all-clear for students to return to their homes on the 1600 blocks of Oxford and Willington streets Tuesday morning after firefighters put out a rooftop fire at a vacant building off campus.

The immediate area surrounding the intersection of Oxford and 16th streets was blocked off to pedestrians shortly after the fire started Monday night. Students were informed about the area being safe shortly before 7 a.m. Tuesday via TUAlert.

No injuries were reported.

The cause of the three-alarm fire still remains unknown, said Kathy Matheson, the communications director for the Philadelphia Fire Department.

The four-story building had been under construction, said Deputy Fire Commissioner Craig Murphy at a press conference Monday night. 

Throughout the night and into the early morning, Temple University’s Department of Student Affairs counted approximately 100 displaced students seeking assistance or a place to stay for the night, said Ray Betzner, a university spokesperson.  

Student Affairs assisted 10 students with alternative housing arrangements, Assistant Dean of Students Rachael Stark wrote in an email to The Temple News, naming the on-campus hotel Conwell Inn as one of them.

PECO cut power to the affected areas to avoid creating complications for the firefighters combating the blaze, said Betzner. Student housing complexes, including The Edge, Beech International Village and Oxford Village, were without power but did not have to be evacuated Monday night, he added. 

Power to the affected areas was restored shortly after 10:45 a.m. Tuesday.

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