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SUNY Plattsburgh, Clinton Community College Prepared to Help Students Displaced by Fire

PLATTSBURGH, NY __ Following an early morning fire Saturday that destroyed an apartment complex housing off-campus students attending the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh and Clinton Community College, officials at both colleges are preparing to help those students displaced by the fire in college guest rooms.

The 4 a.m. fire destroyed one of two apartment buildings housing 32 students at 92 Court Street in Plattsburgh. While another 16 students living in an adjacent structure were evacuated during the fire, they are expected to return today.

SUNY Plattsburgh President John Ettling said that he was relieved to hear that everyone was accounted for at the apartment complex last night.

"This is a terrible incident for those students who lost everything as a result of the fire," said Ettling. "I want to express my thanks to everyone who responded to this fire, including University Police, Plattsburgh City Police and the Plattsburgh City Fire Department. They helped get the residents out of the buildings and knocked this fire down before it spread any further. Fortunately for everyone, no one was seriously injured or died in this fire."

Maurice "Moe" Hickey, president of Clinton Community College, said he was also thankful that everyone was safe.

"Our main concern is for their health and well being," said Hickey. "If the students think there is anything the college can do for them, please contact us. We will do everything that we can to help them."

Bryan Hartman, director of residence life at SUNY Plattsburgh, said that he was contacting the students to advise them that on-campus guest rooms were available for the students if they needed them while they decide where they planned to live for the rest of the semester.

Hartman said, "We have the list of those students who lived in the burned-out apartment complex. There are some who were not here last night and do not even know that their apartments and belongings were destroyed. We will be contacting them to notify them of the situation, and if necessary provide them with housing if they decide to live on campus."

Hartman said Sodexho Campus Services would provide meals for those displaced by the fire.

While housing is the primary concern right now, Hartman said that there are other needs that will have to be addressed. "We are attempting to assess the needs of the students and hope to know by the end of the weekend. These students lost just about everything including clothes, books and other personal items. We hope to know shortly what they will need."

SUNY Plattsburgh students displaced by the fire should contact University Police (518 564-2022) if they require housing, meals or other needs.

Clinton Community College students are also advised to contact Dr. Stephen St.Onge, vice president for student services about housing arrangements at 562-4120 or 420-7167.

Counselors are also available to talk with students by contacting the Center for Student Health and Psychological Services at SUNY Plattsburgh 564-2187 or University Police at 564-2022.

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