November 28, 2022
Ithaca, NY | 39°F


UPDATE: 35 Cornell students displaced by fire in Collegetown

A fire at the Chapter House in Collegetown and an apartment complex next door has caused the roof of both buildings to collapse.

All are accounted for and no injuries have yet to be reported.

The fire is now under control, but Stewart Avenue, where The Chapter House is located, from State Street to Campus Road will be closed for the remainder of the day, Ithaca Fire Department Lt. Tommy Basher said.

Basher said he is unsure if Chapter House and the apartment building next door will be able to be saved.

As of 9:15 a.m. smoke was still coming from the building, and crews were using chainsaws to cut-off remaining portions of the roofs from both Chapter House and the building next door.

Basher said they do not know what started the fire, but believe it started either in Chapter House or between Chapter House and the apartment building to its left.

Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick said he was on the scene soon after 4 a.m.

“The good news is that nobody was injured,” Myrick said on the scene at 8:55 a.m. “With a fire this size, it really is remarkable. It’s a testament to our fire department and our police department, keeping everyone safe. Everything else is just bricks and mortar. We loved — I loved — The Chapter House. A lot of people do, so it’s a blow for sure.”

Crews will remain on scene for the rest of the day, and Basher said officials from the fire department will be on the scene while the investigation into what caused the fire continues.

Update 10:32 a.m.:

Ithaca Police Department Officer Jamie Williamson gave the following traffic updates:

Traffic on Stewart Avenue is closed from the intersection of Stewart and Buffalo to Stewart and Campus. Traffic on Williams Street is closed. Traffic on Osmund Place is closed. Traffic on South Avenue, West Avenue and Edgemoor Lane are accessible at the discretion of Fire Police.

In a separate event, Williamson said there is a house fire on South Aurora Street near Hillview Place. Fire is under control, avoid the scene.

Update 11:00 a.m.: 

Thirty-five Cornell Univerisity students have been displaced by the fire at Chapter House, according to the Cornell Media Relations Office.

The university has a crisis team that is assisting the students. Local landlord, John Novarr will provide the students with furnished apartments for the rest of the semester.

The Statler Hotel provided breakfast and Cornell Dining is providing Big Red Bucks to the students.

The Cornell Store provided full sets of clothing to each student and the Red Cross is supplying blankets and vouchers for other supplies.


IFD controls fire at Chapter House at 7:30 a.m. April 14. Courtesy of IFD

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Crews from the Ithaca Fire Department work on cutting off the remaining parts of the roof of The Chapter house. Max Denning/ The Ithacan


Fire in college town_Max Denning

A firefighter works on cutting off the roof from The Chapter House. Smoke billows out of the building. Max Denning/ The Ithacan


Max Denning can be reached at or via Twitter: @TheMaxDenning