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Northwest Missouri State University


News Release

Aug. 4, 2011

Northwest encourages students to be proactive after off-campus fire displaces residents

MARYVILLE, Mo. - Northwest Missouri State University reminds students to take steps to protect their belongings and help prevent fires in their residences after a fire destroyed an off-campus apartment and displaced several residents.

The fire was reported about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 3, at an apartment building at the corner of Third and Main streets in Maryville. No injuries were reported, and Maryville Public Safety attributed the cause of the fire to careless smoking.

The American Red Cross and Northwest's Office of Residential Life worked to arrange housing for Northwest students displaced by the fire.

Students living on their own for the first time sometimes assume these accidents won't happen to them. However, it is important students take proactive steps to protect themselves and their belongings in case of an unexpected tragedy.

  • Purchase renter's insurance to protect personal property. Renters insurance is relatively inexpensive with many policies ranging from $10 to $20 a month. In some cases, your parents' homeowners insurance policy may offer coverage while you're living away from home.
  • Make sure your name is on the lease. Anyone living in your apartment whose name does not appear on a signed lease agreement may not be eligible for insurance and other benefits in the event of a fire, theft or other loss.

Also, remember these precautions to lower the chances of a fire in your residence hall or apartment, especially as students look for ways to stay warm during winter months:

  • Never leave burning candles unattended. Burning candles should be extinguished before leaving a room or going to sleep. If you must burn a candle, keep it at least 12 inches away from anything that can catch fire, and be sure the candle is on a sturdy surface where it cannot tip easily.
  • Do not leave space heaters unattended. Space heaters should be kept at least 3 feet from flammable materials such as furniture, clothing and bedding. Portable electric heaters are designed for temporary supplemental heating only.
  • Make sure smoke detectors are working. Working smoke detectors are known to cut the risk of dying in a fire by half. They are one of the most important devices a tenant can purchase and install easily for protection in the case of a fire.

Candles and incense are prohibited in Northwest residence halls. Smoking also is prohibited on all University owned or leased property and in all University vehicles.


For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Media Relations Specialist
mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468