NU offers lodgings to students displaced by apartment blaze

Sheila Burt

At least seven Northwestern undergraduate and graduate students are now living in university housing after a fire destroyed their apartment last week.

Mark D’Arienzo, associate director of university housing, said all of the students were offered housing the day after the April 15 fire, but some students chose to live with friends off campus.

D’Arienzo said no student was left homeless, and the university offered free housing for a week.

Four undergraduates are living on the same floor of the Foster-Walker Complex, and one undergraduate is living in Foster House. Two graduate students are living in Engelhart Hall.

The blaze completely burned out the third floor of the house at 718-720 Foster St and left a dozen students displaced by the fire.

Kristin Cass, who lives in an apartment there with her three roommates, said housing officials were accommodating and helpful.

“The university has been really amazing,” said Cass, a Weinberg senior. “They just want us to have a place where we can live and get our life back to normal.”

Cass said the university also helped the students financially but declined to comment on the specific amount she was given.

She said she plans to live in the Plex for the rest of Spring Quarter. She lost nearly everything she owned in the fire.

Adam Adler, who lived on the first floor of the apartment building, said William Banis, vice president for student affairs, and Shane Carlin, area coordinator for Kemper Hall and Ayers College of Commerce and Industry, went to the scene to comfort the students.

Carlin sent e-mails Tuesday night telling the students to contact University Residential Life for housing arrangements.

Adler, a Weinberg junior, is living in Foster House and said he plans to live there for the remainder of Spring Quarter.

“(I’m) just tired of moving,” he said.

Adler said his personal belongings sustained smoke damage.

Kristy Palka, acting area coordinator for the Plex, said the dorm government allocated funds for the students. With the money, Palka created “care packages” for the students with basic items, such as pillows, blankets and towels.

“It’s been really smooth, (but) I’m still in transition,” Cass said. “We really want to thank the community and the university for their generosity and support.”

The Daily’s Dalia Naamani-Goldman contributed to this report.