Cause of Emerson Hall roof fire ruled accidental

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On December 14, 2016

Emerson Hall is vacated as local emergency response teams extinguish a fire on the roof on Thursday Dec. 8, 2016. Sam O’Keefe/Missouri S&T

Emerson Electric Hall is vacated as local emergency response teams extinguish a fire on the roof in Rolla, MO on Thursday Dec. 8, 2016. Sam O'Keefe/Missouri S&T

Emerson Electric Hall is vacated as local emergency response teams extinguish a fire on the roof in Rolla on Thursday Dec. 8, 2016. Sam O’Keefe/Missouri S&T

Last week’s fire on the roof of Emerson Hall, the electrical and computer engineering building, has been ruled accidental by Rolla Fire & Rescue.

In an announcement issued Tuesday, Dec. 13, Rolla Fire Chief Ron Smith said fire investigators believe the point of origin for the fire was near a circuit junction box that powered an electric motor attached to the cooling station on the roof of Emerson Hall. The cooling station caught fire early afternoon on Thursday, Dec. 8. Students, faculty and staff in the building were evacuated and the fire was quickly contained.

“We are pleased to be able to rule the fire as an accident and that there were no injuries as a result of the incident,” Smith said in the statement. Rolla Fire & Rescue worked with the state fire marshal and a fire insurance investigator “in a unified effort to identify the origin of the fire,” Smith said.

While the fire caused no structural damage to Emerson Hall, the building will remain closed indefinitely due to water damage to portions of the building and air quality issues resulting from the fire. As a result, final examinations originally scheduled to be held in Emerson Hall this week have been rescheduled. The registrar’s office has posted a listing of new locations for the final exams.

 

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On December 14, 2016. Posted in News

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2 thoughts on “Cause of Emerson Hall roof fire ruled accidental”

  • Larry Kenchel says:

    One of the few times a fire alarm during finals week was an actual fire 🙂

  • Glenn Whiteman Brand '83 says:

    HVAC? meaning cooling? This building was a COOKER as were many others in the 70s-the glass walls that let the sun in were great for raising the internal temperatures to awful levels-one summer we held a EE 253 class at 7am to avoid being in the building in the afternoon-and when Dr Wiebe had his production mgt class scheduled in the same classroom in August he immediately switched us to and air conditioned room in Harris Hall as the EE building was unbearable. Of course the windows did open, and many prof’s and a few students used them as ashtrays as smoking in class was still allowable then…….