Andrew Mendez/ Nevada Sagebrush
The backside of Argenta hall following an explosion that took place on campus around 1:00 p.m on Friday, July 5.

By: Andrew Mendez and Taylor Johnson

Update Saturday 1:525 p.m.

The university held a press conference to update students, family and the community on the status of Argenta Hall after an explosion took place on Friday, July 5.

Bart Chambers, Nevada State Fire Marshal, has opened an investigation into the explosion. The explosion is believed to have occurred in the center of Argenta and the department is not looking at any criminal intent.

Kevin Carman, Executive Vice President and Provost of the university, said the Fire Department’s Urban Search and Rescue Team has begun to return personal belongings to students who lived in the residence hall. Students were relocated to Peavine Hall Friday night.

Students affected by the events are advised to seek help at the Counseling Center located on the fourth floor of the Pennington Student Achievement Center. Faculty from the Education, Psychology and Social Work departments will be stepping in to serve students.

This is a developing story. Check back with the Nevada Sagebrush for more updates.

Update Saturday 12:15 a.m.

Argenta Hall was still being checked by the Reno Fire Department as of 9:00 p.m., according to a university press release. Work is set to continue throughout the night.

Nye Hall was searched and was found to have no one inside at the time of the explosion.

Now, students living in Argenta Hall for the summer are being assigned new placements in Peavine Hall.

Update Friday 10:00 p.m.

University officials issued a press release detailing the status of Argenta Hall after explosions took place at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, July 5 . Officials believe the explosions occurred to a potential mechanical failure.

According to Todd Renwick, Interim Director of University Police Services, there was a smaller explosion that took place in the basement of Argenta. Shortly after, a second explosion took place.

Both Argenta and Nye Hall sustained damage. Both residence halls have closed and the university reported Nye Hall had no persons in the building at the time of the explosions. 

Kerri Garcia, Interim Executive of Marketing and Communications for the university, explained earlier, eight individuals were injured, but sustained no life-threatening injuries. Six victims were treated and released on scene by the Regional Emergency Medical Service Authority. Two individuals were transported to a local hospital, treated and released.

Alexander Dilling, a student at the university, was in Argenta at the time the second explosion took place. 

“I did not hear or feel the first explosion,” Dilling told the Nevada Sagebrush. “However, the fire alarm went off and I took time to get my shoes… phone, wallet, and keys and went down the emergency stairwell. As I was exiting the larger explosion went off. Everything from brick to glass was flying everywhere.”

Dilling added after the explosion he evacuated as soon as he could. 

“When it went off, I quickly assessed the surreal sights around me,”  Dilling said. “After that I walked quickly away from the building. As I saw people coming up from behind me, I asked if everyone was okay.”  

Residential Life, Housing, and Food Services has since relocated students to Peavine Hall where they will receive linens, toiletries, and female hygiene products.    

“So at the time, we are not being allowed back in,” Dilling said. “We are instead being relocated to Peavine and they are figuring out housing assignments right now. As far as food, the current plan is to eat at the Overlook, but further plans into the week have not been figured out.”  

Students  affected will have access access to the Overlook Cafe for brunch from 11:00 a.m.- 1:30 p.m. and dinner from 5:00 p.m.- 6:00 p.m, according to Residential Life.  

Renwick added the basement of Argenta has two feet of water and once the area is clear there will be further investigation into the incident. 

The Associated Students of the University of Nevada issued a statement on Twitter to show support and gratitude. 

“The Association is thankful for the first responders that attended the scene — and that all occupants in the building were treated and released,” ASUN said on Twitter.  “We would also like to extend our gratitude to our Res Life Staff as well as our state/local representatives who have offered support.”

The building has been evacuated, but floors are being searched for any remaining occupants and damage. 

Students who work and live in Argenta are urged to call 775-784-1113 or email to report on their status. Family and individuals requesting more information are advised to call 775-784-1113 or 775-682-8241. 

University employees were allowed to leave at their convenience after the incident to “ensure a safe departure”.

Update 2:54 p.m

Bob Harmon of the Washoe County Sheriff Office reported three people sustained non-life threatening injuries due to the explosion.

Dining employees said alarms went off before the explosion occurred.

The university has also cancelled all classes for the remainder of the day.

Update Friday 2:01 p.m.

According to the Reno Gazette-Journal, Dominique Hall, a student at the university, claimed the explosion was due to a gas leak. 

She added she could feel the explosion from the Nevada Living Learning Center, a dorm located up the street from where the explosion took place.

This is a developing story. Check back with the Nevada Sagebrush for more updates.

Update Friday 1:55 p.m.

Dining Services advised students to stay away from residence halls on Twitter. They announced they will operate in a limited capacity in the Overlook Cafe through the weekend for summer school residents and summer groups.

This is a developing story. Check back with the Nevada Sagebrush for more updates.

Original story

An explosion at Argenta Hall, located on the southwest area of campus, has blown off a portion of the dorm around 1:00 p.m on Friday, July 5. Nye Hall, adjacent from Argenta, has also sustained damage. Virginia St. has partially been closed. 

The University has sent an email and text message to students telling students and family “there has been a utilities accident” and to stay clear of the area. The Housing, Dining, and food services website advised individuals to stay clear from 9th Street to College Drive. 

University police, Reno Police Department and the Reno Fire Department have dispatched unites to access the scene. Officials are telling pedestrians to stay clear of the area and reverting traffic elsewhere. 

This is a developing story. Check back with the Nevada Sagebrush for more updates.

Olivia Ali contributed to this report.

Jayme Sileo / Nevada Sagebrush
Jayme Sileo / Nevada Sagebrush
Jayme Sileo / Nevada Sagebrush
Jayme Sileo / Nevada Sagebrush

The Nevada Sagebrush News Desk can be reached at or on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.