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Prairie View A&M student describes chaos during dorm fire

Four people were hurt, including three students. One of those students jumped from a 3rd floor window.

PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas — Three students were hurt after fire broke out at the University Village dorm on the campus of Prairie View A&M Wednesday. One of those students jumped from a third story window. The fourth person who was hurt was identified as a campus police officer, who was trying to get as many students out of the smoke-filled building.

It happened just before 6 a.m. Fire crews responded to campus after reports of flames coming from the building. It didn’t take long for the fire department to put the fire out.

Freshman Shaniyah Tarnern says she was four doors down from where the fire broke out. She heard the fire alarms and saw the smoke filling the building. She says she tried to go out the hallway door, but it would not open. In a panic, she busted the window trying to get out, cutting her arm.

"It broke because of the window and I wasn't even worried about the blood I was just ready to get out," Tarner said. "The worst experience ever, like I never thought I would have to go through a fire. I was scared because like with a fire I know they told us stop drop and roll it but it was crazy. I didn't know what to do."

Tarner’s mother, Chilon Barideaux said she knew when the phone rang … something was terribly wrong.

"That's my child you know anybody you know get a phone call at that time in the morning, what would you think," Barideaux said. "You don't want to get that phone call or knock at your door to tell you something happened with your child."

Her mother said she was still in shock watching students hang from the windows and jumping to safety when she got on campus.

Students are now being forced to move to other dorms on campus while the fire investigation continues. Barideaux said she is thankful it wasn't worse and while dorm items were lost, her daughter's life was not.

"It's just panicky just to know that you know, 'mama we're going to die' just to hear that. That's replaceable but her life isn't," Barideaux said.

Barideaux said she is also thankful for the community of Prairie View because everyone came together as a family to help the students. The campus community was there when the students needed them most.

At this time, the cause of the fire has not been officially released. At least one person was taken to the hospital but their condition is not known at this time.