Sparks fly as Churchill Hall fire leaves students fuming
Chaos broke out during Churchill dinner this evening after a fire in the kitchens forced hundreds of students to leave their meals untouched.
Update 14:18 30/04/2014: An email sent this morning to members of Churchill confirms that no injuries were sustained in the accident. Students who went hungry last night will also be able to claim free vouchers for ice cream at tonight’s hall service.
Within minutes of the accident the area was closed off. Crowds of students were left milling around outside the main building, forced to abandon their well-earned steaks as firemen took control.
Daniel Mezzina-Samuels, a 2nd year Natsci at the scene, was left unimpressed. “After an extra long and gruelling basketball session all I wanted was to enjoy steak night at Churchill hall.
“After 20 minutes of waiting I finally got my food only to be interrupted by the fire hazard officer sprinting out of the kitchens, shouting ‘This is not a drill, leave your food and bags and get out!’”
Sources working in the kitchen at the time explained that a small fire had broken out at the back of the kitchen, dangerously close to a vat of hot chip cooking oil.
This happened half an hour into service and so staff were forced to focus on a controlled evacuation rather than trying to control the flames.
When pressed to reveal the extent of the damage, Alison, 47, the head chef in the kitchen at the time of the incident was full of reassuring words. Speaking exclusively to The Tab, she said “I don’t know whether we’re going to burn down.
“Two fire engines reached college within several minutes so the situation is probably under control.”
The atmosphere was tense as the incident interrupted Churchill’s much-anticipated weekly Steak Night. Many students were left fuming at this cruel twist of fate.
Omar Diagon Ali, a first-year linguist, described his agony. “I like my steak medium-rare but I’m sure it’s burnt to a crisp and stone cold now.
“We were promised a meal of flame-grilled deliciousness but instead were left hungry for 45 minutes as the fire alarms continued to ring and nobody was allowed access even to the bar for snacks.
“What a shambles.”
No injuries or serious damage were reported, although representatives of the JCR committee declined to comment on the possible repercussions on Churchillian revision and exam performance.
Damian Aries, a first year Natsci, was left dolefully cleaning up scraps of stone-cold food in the wake of the disaster.
“It’s a fucking travesty” he told The Tab. “Dozens of students are now going hungry tonight during the most important term of the academic year.”