TSTC Sweetwater's Bluebonnet Inn burns to the ground
SWEETWATER, Texas -- Dozens of students at Texas State Technical College are without a home tonight after a fire burned their dorm to the ground.
Students woke up this morning to smoke and fire alarms going off in the building known as the Bluebonnet Inn.
Antonio Delgado, who lived in the dorm, was able to get out of the building right away.
"Oh yeah, I was asleep and whenever I was waking up, I heard the alarms. I didn't know what to do, so I got up and ran outside," said Delgado.
Firefighters were called to the blaze at the Bluebonnet Inn around 9:30 this morning.
"There was substantial smoke coming from the building after they completed their search of the rooms, making sure there was nobody left in the building. They turned their efforts to fighting the fire," said Sweetwater Fire Chief Grant Madden.
The dorm was home to 28 students, thankfully none of whom were injured. However, the building ended up being a total loss. Firefighters say because the fire hydrants were so far away from the site of the fire, there wasn't adequate enough water pressure to effectively extinguish the fire.
"Due to lack of water, we turned it into a defensive fire where we just basically backed out of it, made sure that everyone was out, everybody was safe and had to let it go." Madden said.
Chief Madden says that the building did not have a sprinkler system and students lost everything that they had inside of the dorm.
"I wish I had all my stuff. I left my money in my drawer and everything, so I ain't get to get nothing," Delgado said.
For the time being, students will be staying in a hotel near the school's campus. TSTC is working with students to replace lost books, class materials and class tools they may have lost in the fire. The college will help provide the affected students with basic daily living necessities like clothing and hygiene products as well.
TSTC has received numerous calls from community members offering to help out the students who lived at the Bluebonnet Inn. In response to those offers from members of the surrounding community to help out the affected students, the TSTC Foundation has started the Sweetwater Fire Emergency Relief Fund to raise money for the displaced students at https://foundation.tstc.edu/
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.