Pfeiffer residents suspect fire

Published 4:23 pm Friday, October 12, 2018

Pfeiffer University residents were awakened early Friday morning to the smell of smoke and the fear of fire.

Firefighters responded to the 1:49 a.m. report of a possible fire at the Rose Garden Apartments on the Misenheimer campus. A motor on a boiler had burned out and caused excessive soot and the smell of smoke, according to Danny Barham, Stanly County fire marshal.

Heat from the motor had melted the surrounding casing, but no fire erupted.

“There was literally no fire,” Barham said.

The apartments house 12 Pfeiffer employees, but only eight were present at the time of the incident. No students were involved, according to Casey Habich, university spokesman.

“An employee smelled the smoke and reported it,” he said via email. “Another employee went through an open window of an employee’s apartment to wake her.”

The building remained evacuated while fire officials tested the air quality in the building. There were no traces of carbon monoxide, Barham said.

Electrical power was turned off to the boiler room.

“We did that out of precaution,” Barham added.

The residents were allowed to return to the building.

Contact Ritchie Starnes at 704-754-5076 or