The fire that broke out in a building belonging to the University of Crete at 8:50 on Sunday morning has been completely extinguished, the university’s rector Achilleas Zoras told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) on Sunday.
“Everything indicates that there is no problem with any student given that the fire affected the northern building of the student halls of residence. We are investigating all possibilities, however, because we do not know whether any of the students was putting up any other person,” he said.
The regional authority’s deputy head for civil protection Yiannis Leontarakis told ANA that the university authorities were now being briefed by the fire brigade, which was beginning the process of recording the damage to offices, laboratories and dorms.
“Measures will be taken by the region also for the students left without anywhere to stay and we will provide help and support wherever we can,” he said. He said that a delegation from the education ministry was expected in Iraklio as soon as possible to deal with the students that had been staying in the university dormitories and now needed shelter.
Also due to arrive in the city was a team from the Democritus Research Centre in Athens, which along with regional authority health inspectors would test the quality of the air and any health hazard posed by the smoke released in the fire.
The fire started in a building used as a storage area by the Venizeleio Hospital and quickly spread to the buildings housing students, with no reports of anyone injured or missing.
A strong fire-fighting force that included 27 fire engines and helicopters was sent to put out the fire, assisted by private water trucks.
Residents in the areas near the university were advised to keep their windows shut to avoid inhaling the thick smoke. As a precaution, three kindergartens and two primary schools that are near the university’s facilities on Knossos Avenue where the fire broke out will stay closed on Monday.