© 2024 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

UB student charged with starting dorm fire


Authorities say two students suffered minor injuries in a fire inside their University at Buffalo dormitory room Thursday evening. One of them has been arrested on charges of arson, reckless endangerment, criminal mischief, and marijuana possession.

University police say 19-year-old Alec Seidenberg of Ardsley allegedly dropped the butane torch he was using to light marijuana. He and his girlfriend were taken to ECMC for treatment. She was treated and released Thurday, while Seidenberg is expected to be released Friday.

The fire broke out shortly at 6:17 p.m. in a fourth-floor room of the Spaulding Quadrangle Building 1 in the Ellicott Complex on UB's North Campus. Firefighters extinguished the blaze in about 20 minutes.

"The fire alarm system coupled with the University Police response permitted a quick and orderly evacuation of these buildings,” said Police Chief Gerald W. Schoenle Jr.

The Getzville Fire Department responded to the alarm and was backed up by Ellicott Creek and North Bailey Fire Departments.

“The quick response and excellent work of these departments are the reasons why there was minimal damage and the fire was confined to one room,” Schoenle said.

Students were evacuated from the building but were allowed to return to the lower floors later Thursday night. Students living on the fourth floor spent the night elsewhere. The university strictly prohibits smoking and the use of such devices in residence halls.

Seidenberg was issued a ticket to appear in Amherst Town Court.