University of Maryland Students Narrowly Escape House Fire Just Before Graduation | NBC4 Washington

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University of Maryland Students Narrowly Escape House Fire Just Before Graduation

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    An overnight fire ripped through a house in College Park where a group of students live. One of the residents said the timing couldn't be worse, with her cap and gown going up in flames just ahead of graduation. News4's Kristin Wright reports. (Published Friday, May 19, 2017)

    University of Maryland students narrowly escaped an early morning fire Friday, just before graduation. 

    The house, located in the 6700 block of Baltimore Avenue, caught fire about 2 a.m. 

    By the time firefighters arrived, the roof had partially collapsed. Two firefighters were injured by falling debris.

    Three students who were sleeping inside were able to get out safely.

    Resident Ciara Egan was at work after a last-minute shift change. Her graduation cap and gown were inside, just a day before graduation.

    "That was kind of a big chunk of money, too," Egan said. "I'm the oldest in my family. I graduated first. I bought the gown and everything for all the kids following, because they're all going to go to Maryland."

    News4's Erika Gonzalez sent a tweet to University of Maryland President Wallace Loh Friday morning, asking if he could help Egan. 

    Loh quickly agreed, adding that he was relieved Egan and her housemates were safe.


    "Cap & gown are on me. Contact my office to arrange," Loh wrote. 

    Egan said she was so grateful. 

    "At that point, I was so tired, I just started crying," she said. 

    The cause of the fire is under investigation. The students told News4 they believe the fire started in the basement before spreading to other floors.