Students at Royal Holloway have been moved to temporary accommodation, after an arson attack on the famous Founder’s building on Thursday night.
At the time of writing, access to Founder’s building is limited, with the dining hall and café, Crosslands, closed amongst other facilities. Some students had also been moved to temporary accommodation at the De Vere Beaumont Estate in Windsor.
Hayleigh Cutmore, who lives in Founder’s said: “We we’re told to go to Windsor [building] because it wasnt safe after we had been outside an hour. We were in Windsor for about 3 hours, and no one really knew anything.
“First they said it was nothing, then they said we would be back in 3 hours. Finally at 10 they said we were all going to a hotel and the police had arrived. The hotel was chaos and no one had any info, and today was just as clueless.”
One student told London Student that they were unable to leave the hotel and remained there for the majority of Friday as the scene of the crime is being investigated. Some students have been able to collect their belongings from Founders’.
According to the University’s website, “one bedroom has been damaged by smoke, the other rooms affected were toilets and bathrooms. There is no damage to Founder’s Building.”
Students living in Founders say there were multiple fire alarms on Thursday night, and smoke was visible in the east side of the building around 7:30pm.
Emergency services were sent to keep the situation under control, with ambulances, fire trucks, police and a helicopter attending the scene. The building was evacuated, and the area slightly cordoned off. No-one other than the emergency services were allowed to enter the building.
The motive behind the attempted arson is unclear, although there are rumours that the suspect had taken drugs and been kicked out of the SU. The suspect, age 21 and a student at the university remains in police custody in hospital, and his identity is still unknown.
Barney Nunn, who witnessed the arrest, said: “It was just outside Bedford [Library], I was coming from a SocSport event. I heard about everything that was happening one minute, then emergency vehicles were everywhere the next. They had already caught him at this point and brought him outside.”
Reporting by Eshan Puri, Dan Brady and Yasmeen Frasso