October 17, 2012

University of Montevallo hosts documentary film After the Fire

MONTEVALLO—The University of Montevallo will host a viewing of After the Fire: A Story of Heroes and Cowards on Monday, Oct. 22, at 7 p.m., in Palmer Auditorium on the UM campus. This is a documentary film about the January 2000 fire in a dormitory at Seton Hall University in New Jersey in which three students were killed and 58 others were injured.

Los Angeles-based filmmaker Guido Verweyen based his documentary on the reporting of journalist and author Robin Gaby Fisher’s seven-part series in the Newark Star-Ledger and later in The New York Times best-selling book After the Fire: A True Story of Friendship and Survival. Both the book and the film focus on the recovery of the injured students, the friendships formed during those recoveries, the efforts of medical staff and the criminal/arson investigation that led to the conviction of two Seton Hall students.

On hand to share firsthand accounts of their experiences will be Alvaro Llanos and Shawn Simons, two survivors of the fire who now share their stories with university students, faculty and staff, as well as firefighters and other emergency responders in order to help prevent similar tragedies from occurring on other college campuses.

Discussion topics include the importance of fire safety and prevention, overcoming tragedy and pursuing goals despite obstacles, dealing with burns (physically, mentally and emotionally), facing the media and the importance of family, friendship and faith during trying times.

This event is free and open to the public, with a special invitation to university students, faculty and staff, as well as firefighters and other emergency responders.