MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS — Barnard dormitory residents had to find alternative shelter when a fire at their building Tuesday night summoned more than 100 firefighters to the scene, officials said.
About 206 students were evacuated from 600 W. 116th St., near Broadway, when a fire began there about 10:52 p.m., spilling large flames into an alleyway behind the popular noodle restaurant on the ground floor, Ollie's, according to officials and YouTube video.
"We smelled gas from our room," said ninth-floor resident and Barnard junior, Mouri Das.
"We thought it was a heater, but the alarm started going off. It was a really strong smell and we came downstairs. We saw a lot of firefighters and firetrucks.
"Smoke was coming from the alleyway. There was a blazing fire. The flames were coming from near the top of the building and were bright yellow," said Das, who stayed with a friend after the fire.
Barnard staff accompanied the student to the hospital, they said.
School officials reportedly told dorm residents that they needed to find a different place to sleep for the night so they started an online spreadsheet to pair the displaced with those that had available space elsewhere on campus, according to the student-news blog Bwog.
About 106 firefighters helped bring the blaze under control about 12:46 a.m., FDNY officials said.
The ground floor restaurant appeared to be badly damaged in the fire with its storefront windows still hanging into the street Wednesday morning.
Residents of the building, which was built in 1907, were allowed back in about 8 a.m., but Con Ed was still working to restore heat, hot water and gas to the building, Barnard officials said.
Barnard staff expected to know when gas would be fully restored by mid-morning, they said. In the meantime, students were permitted two meals a day in a nearby dining hall, officials said.
Classes continued as scheduled, officials said.
Fire marshals will determine what caused the fire, officials said.