Marquis kitchen fire attributed to dishwasher machine

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Local fire crews arrived to contain the situation. (Photo courtesy of Rebekah Lazar ’26)

A fire broke out in the Marquis kitchen’s dishwasher on Wednesday morning, setting off a fire alarm and forcing students to evacuate the premises for about 45 minutes. There were no reported injuries.

“Marquis Dining Hall’s full-service dishwashing machine exhaust fan ignited due to a mechanical failure. The fire was contained to the dishwashing room itself,” Christopher Brown, general manager of Bon Appetit, wrote in an email. “The building was promptly and safety evacuated.”

According to an email sent to the Lafayette community, The City of Easton, Palmer Township and Borough of Wilson fire departments responded to the scene to inspect and ventilate the buildings, opening the dining hall for lunch at noon, one hour later than usual lunch hours begin.

Marquis’ kitchen was out of commission for roughly 1 hour and 30 minutes,” Brown wrote. “The Fire Codes Officer and the City of Easton Health Inspector gave their approval to resume work in Marquis after assessing the kitchen.”

Dorothy Fort ’26, who lives in Marquis, came back from class to find the building evacuated.

“My roommate texted me and she thought it was like a drill or something,” Fort said. “I came back and the fire trucks were still in the back and everyone on my hall was sitting on the steps.”

Fort said that she and her friends learned about the dishwasher fire through YikYak.

“After 10 minutes, the alarm stopped and we just assumed we could go back inside. So we just kind of filed in,” Fort added.

The equipment fire has left the dishwashing machine out of commission, meaning that students dining at Marquis will be using plasticware and paper plates for the time being. Brown wrote that there is no “definitive timeline” for remedying the issue.

“We are in communication with our equipment supplier and have requested a new dishwashing exhaust part. This is critical for the machine to function,” Brown wrote.

He added that the fire comes just one day after the City of Easton inspected the kitchen.

“Dining passed without any exceptions, including the dishwashing room,” Brown wrote.