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Boiler malfunction causes small fire in Building 12

Posted on February 20, 2014 | in News | by

Photo by Matt Edwards/The Torch

Students and faculty evacuated Building 12 at 10:30 a.m. after a boiler malfunction caused a small fire.

No one was injured in the fire, which mainly caused smoke damage.

“That circulating pump there, the motor burnt up — or we think the bearing may be seized up inside and created enough heat and friction that the insulation caught fire,” Lane Facilities Management and Planning Lead HVAC Technician Kevin Williams said. “We have motors burn out all the time in different places, but I’ve never seen one actually go up in flames like this.”

Public Safety and FMP were the first to respond, with emergency personnel from Goshen Rural Fire Protection District arriving shortly after.

“We responded and Goshen Fire was notified and they also came and backed us up and helped check out the building and make sure there was no further danger,” Lane Public Information Officer Joan Aschim said.

FMP Interim Assistant Manager Russ Pierson said the pump was old and was scheduled to be replaced.

“It was good timing in that sense, but it finally gave up the ghost,” Pierson said. “It’s amazing how much smoke it produced.”

The emergency alarm system was tested in Building 10 at 12:30 p.m. FMP Interim Director Todd Smith said the test was not related to the fire

Public Safety Chief Jace Smith was in a debriefing with administration before 2 p.m., but was unavailable for comment, having left campus shortly after 2:30 p.m.

Building 12 was closed until 2:30 p.m. to allow the smoke to clear.

(Sports Editor Jarrid Denney contributed to this report.)

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