Fire, smoke and water have damaged an apartment in a residence hall at a Beatrice college campus.
The fire was reported shortly after 9:30 p.m. Monday at Southeast Community College. 20 students were placed in a hotel room Monday night. Students were allowed back into their dorm room around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday morning. No injuries have been reported.
Beatrice Fire Capt. Jeff VanWinkle says most of the damage was caused when a sprinkler system activated.
Investigators say a resident of the apartment had begun heating some cooking oil but then left the apartment to visit another student. VanWinkle says the oil caught fire. Flames spread to cabinets and a vent above the stove.
VanWinkle says some students went to a local motel because of the hall damage, which was estimated at between $25,000 and $30,000.
SCC said while there were no injuries and minimal damage, it's a lesson for students to keep an eye on what they're cooking.
"If you hvae someting, whether it's grease or whatever you're cooking, make sure you're in the vicinity," said Campus Director, Bob Morgan. "It can happen so quickly. I think this happened in maybe a three minute time span."