University of Rhode Island investigating after series of fires intentionally set in dorm

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The University of Rhode Island campus police was investigating a series of small fires that were set on campus Saturday night.

Police said in a news release that preliminary investigations indicate that the fires were intentionally set between Saturday night and early Sunday morning inside Hillside Hall. No one was injured in the fires, but the dormitory had to be evacuated twice, according to WPRI-TV.

The first fire occurred at around 8:40 p.m. Saturday night when students smelled smoke on the fifth floor. As the Rhode Island fire marshal and campus police were investigating another fire was sparked in the same bathroom as the first. This incident occurred around midnight, triggering the sprinkler system.

Both fires involved a trash can and paper towels or toilet paper.

“All the alarms just went off,” Justin Trickett, a freshman student, told WPRI-TV. “All the RA’s were going crazy knocking on our doors, telling us to get out of there as fast as possible.”

The University of Rhode Island’s Office of Housing Residential Life was offering support for those affected by the water damage. Some students had been relocated.

Authorities are asking anyone with information about the fires to call campus police at 401-874-2121.

Click for more from WPRI-TV.