SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Firefighters were inside a smoke-filled arts center building at Seton Hall today — but only for a drill, held in celebration of National Fire Prevention Week.

“It’s really about getting students thinking about their decision-making,” Tara Hart, housing and resident life director at Seton Hall, said.

Seton Hall saw tragedy 15 years ago, when a fire broke out at the University’s Boland Hall dorms — claiming the lives of three students.

“My life is marked by before and after the fire,” Hart said. Hart said after the fire she always checks for fire exits, no matter where she is, WCBS 880’s Levon Putney reported.

Local fire, police and medical organizations participated in the emergency exercise, and was made possible by a donation by the Aspiring Kindness Foundation — a nonprofit formed in the aftermath of the Boland blaze.

“It’s definitely a dream come true for the charity,” Jason Tarantino, Aspiring Kindness founder, said.

Tarantino and seven others started the nonprofit in honor of Aaron Karol — one of the victims of the Boland Hall fire. After his death, they started raising money for fire safety and first responders.

“He is definitely our driving motivation,” said Tarantino said.


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