Around 200 students were evacuated from their accommodation at James Cook University’s Townsville campus overnight because of a fire.
Students were quickly evacuated from A and B block of the University Hall accommodation and firefighters extinguished the blaze. No students were injured in the incident.
JCU Chief of Staff Vanessa Cannon said every effort has been taken to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students, and the university is doing everything it can to support affected students.
“Students have been offered counselling and James Cook University is working to minimise disruption and inconvenience, including any disruption to their studies.”
- Every affected student will have a bed, with accommodation provided either on or off campus.
- The University has provided emergency cash payments to affected students so they can purchase essential items.
- Personal belongings damaged in the fire will be covered by the University’s insurance, and the process of compensation will be communicated to students.
- JCU has set up a ‘pop up’ support centre at Education Central to respond to student enquiries. The centre is providing assistance with counselling, academic support, emergency cash payments, replacement ID cards, and information about insurance claims. The support centre also has a phone available for students who haven’t been able to contact family members.
- The Red Cross has offered assistance, including clothing, toiletries and pastoral care.
“Staff will continue working with every affected student to support them during this time, including knowing where they stand in regards to what’s happening with their accommodation,” Ms Cannon said.