House fire sparks community support from SHU

Some Seton Hall residence halls are putting efforts toward supporting the community after a South Orange residence was destroyed by a fire on Feb. 27.

Approximately 20 firefighters from the South Orange Fire Department (SOFD) helped extinguish the fire at 30 Warren Court, the street across from Cabrini Hall. It took about an hour to extinguish and only one injury of a firefighter with minor injuries was reported, according to Deputy Chief Daniel Sullivan. The fire started on the first floor and is thought to be the cause of combustible materials being too close to a heating device.

The “Penny Wars” program was a way for the residential professional staff in the Complex (Neumann, Cabrini and Serra Halls) and Xavier Hall to recognize and support the SOFD’s hard work, inspired by the recent incident.

“These brave volunteers have been a close partner in promoting education and safety for our students for a long time,” said Rohan Thakkar, Xavier’s residence hall director, in an email.

“We recognized that a fundraising event was the least we could do to show our appreciation for their continued hard work.”

Sullivan also had praise for the firefighters.

“South Orange firefighters are a dedicated and loyal, public safety minded group of men and women who take pride in their calling and strive to carry out the mission of Fire Service—‘To save lives and protect property’…Simply put, it’s our job,” he said.

The “Penny Wars” started Monday, March 16. Jars will be stationed at the front desk of participating residence halls from 9 a.m. to 11:50 p.m. on Monday through Friday until Thursday, March 30.

Each front desk will have a container corresponding to a student’s respective resident assistant. To gain points, students contribute pennies. To make other residence halls lose points, students can place silver coins or dollars in the jars.

The winning area, Complex or Xavier Hall, will be recognized across campus as the “Penny Wars” champion. In addition, whichever floor of the winner has the most points will be awarded a pizza party courtesy of the residence hall staff.

“Overall, we hope this project will provide students an avenue to show their appreciation for the work that the South Orange Fire Department has done and will continually do,” said Thakkar. “We’re excited to see our students quickly engage in this fundraiser and show their support for the cause.”

Emily Balan can be reached at

Author: Emily Balan

Emily is the news editor for The Setonian and writes for the news section. She also writes for The Diplomatic Envoy where she holds the layout & copy editor position. She will be graduating in spring 2016 from the School of Diplomacy with a BS in diplomacy and international relations and a BA in philosophy, with minors in French and journalism.

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