Minor fire at mansion extinguished, business continues as usual

A fire broke out in the basement of Meadow Brook Hall on Monday, Feb. 22 around 5 p.m.

The fire alarms went off, which automatically alerted the OU Police Department. They contacted the Rochester Hills Fire Department.

The fire was extinguished after about 20 minutes, said Sean Canto, chief of fire and emergency services at the Rochester Hills Fire Department.

Firefighters from the Auburn Hills Fire Department and Rochester Fire Department helped as well, Canto said.

No one was hurt and there was very little damage.

A heater malfunctioned in the boiler room, causing the wrapping of a pipe to catch fire.

OU is looking into having the heater replaced, said Kim Zelinski, director of museum operations at the hall.

In the meantime, the hall is open for business as usual. A back up boiler is keeping the mansion warm, Zelinski said.

“We were back to normal the next day,” she said.

The boilers are far from the main parts of the house. Zelinski said Matilda Dodge Wilson, OU’s founder and the original owner of the hall, had it built that way for safety.