The rows of rustic rooms on the University of Virginia’s central grounds will be a bit colder this fall and winter because students won’t be allowed to light their fireplaces.
U.Va. safety inspectors have found cracks in more than 100 chimneys in rooms on the Lawn and Range in the University’s Thomas Jefferson-designed Academical Village. The problems could allow a chimney fire to spread to the roofs over the rooms, which have smoke and fire detectors but lack a fire-suppression system.
Officials at the Charlottesville school are considering whether to make repairs and install suppression equipment or to permanently end the use of the fireplaces.
Burning hearths in the Lawn and Range rooms have been a longtime tradition, even after central heat was installed in the early 20th century.