Officials: Smoke in Adelphi dorm caused by electrical power surge

An electrical power surge at Adelphi University in Garden City early Saturday caused smoke to spew in a campus dorm, officials said.

About 50 firefighters responded to a 7:40 a.m. call that reported smoke in buildings scattered throughout the college's main campus, Garden City fire Chief William Castoro said.

One responding firefighter was taken to Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola with a minor leg injury from a fall, Castoro said.


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"There was mostly just smoke," Castoro said. "It burned up the HVAC [heating, ventilation, air-conditioning] motors in five different buildings."

Fire departments from Franklin Square, Garden City Park, Mineola and Westbury helped the Garden City firefighters.

The affected area of campus, including dorm Earle Hall, was mostly empty because of the Thanksgiving weekend, officials said.

Adelphi spokeswoman Kali Chan said earlier reports of possible fires in several buildings turned out to be unfounded. Chan said the conditions happened during a scheduled "routine power shutdown" of Residence Hall. The shutdown caused several engines to overheat.

Anyone who was in the buildings had been evacuated before firefighters arrived. Campus facilities personnel quickly shut off power to the buildings, Castoro said.

"It was mainly a power problem. I know they are doing some construction on the campus so perhaps that had something to do with it," Castoro said.

Firefighters left the campus by 9:30 a.m.

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