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Fire quickly contained at Lafferre Hall construction site

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 | 10:07 p.m. CDT; updated 10:34 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Firemen climb onto the roof of MU's Lafferre Hall after reports of a fire there. The fire was believed to be sparked by a cutting torch that was used in roof construction there.

COLUMBIA — A fire Wednesday afternoon on the north side of MU's Lafferre Hall was linked to roof construction, according to Columbia Fire Department Battalion Chief Gary Warren.

The fire, believed to be sparked by a cutting torch, began in a construction area between the old roof and the new roof of the building located at 416 Sixth St., Warren said.

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Construction workers used a fire extinguisher and a high-pressure hose to contain the blaze.

"We are fortunate workers were still there," Warren said.

According to the fire department, the building was quickly evacuated, and there are no injuries reported. When firefighters arrived at the scene, Warren said, the fire was only smoldering. The building was expected to reopen later Wednesday evening.

Estimation of damages is pending investigation.

Lafferre Hall was built in 1892 and houses the College of Engineering. According to the MU Web site, a $24.3 million renovation project will make improvements to general classroom space, the building exterior, and to structural, mechanical, electrical, access and life-safety systems.


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