College Street in front of Valentine Hall (midnight)
The call went out clear as bell a minute before midnight last night, and the public safety response was the usual coordinated cacophony of personnel and heavy equipment descending on the scene.
Within minutes AFD Engines 1, 2 and 3 (Student Force) lined up in front of Valentine Hall along with an ambulance, two assistant Chiefs, AFD Chief Nelson, and a bevy of Amherst town and Amherst College police.
Box Alarm Valentine Hall Amherst College smell of smoke in kitchen.The fire started in clean folded linen stored in a hamper, but it was quickly extinguished, so additional off duty personnel were waived off (although three did show up.)
— Larry Kelley (@amherstac) February 4, 2014
Many AFD personnel responded to Valentine Hall fire
The smoke alarms rang loud and clear, and in the pitch black cold winter night the warning strobe lights were also hard to miss. Valentine Hall also has a sprinkler system, but the fire never got hot enough to activate them.
On the rear side of the building a bevy of students gathered after evacuating the building.
Back side of Valentine Hall (midnight)
Amherst College "gifts" to the town anywhere from $90,000 to $120,000 per year to offset AFD responses like last night. Although I'm told by the Town Manager this year it will be the lower figure.
Either way, they get more than their money's worth.
College Street side Valentine Hall