No one was hurt, but officials estimated a two-alarm fire caused about $500,000 in damage to a three-story, 12-unit residence hall at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester.
The Manchester Union-Leader reports that six of the 12 units in Greeley Hall sustained heavy fire, smoke and water damage in the Saturday blaze.
Officials said the hall was fully occupied at the time of the fire, but everyone was safely evacuated.
Fire crews had to "chase" the flames through the structure as the blaze traveled through "void space between each floor."
"This fire was extremely labor intensive due to the size and construction of the building," District Fire Chief Hank Martineau said in a news release."Firefighters were forced to chase the fire throughout the northern half of the dormitory."
The university issued a statement saying an electrical problem appeared to be the cause of the fire.
University President Paul LeBlanc says the school will relocate all 51 Greeley Hall residents in other campus housing.
"It's well past any state of being able to put people back in there," LeBlanc said of Greeley Hall. "That was immediately apparent."
He added that Greeley Hall was already scheduled to be torn down after the end of the school year as the university replaces student housing built in the late 1970s with new facilities.
The building is in a complex of residence halls on the northwestern end of the campus.