By Jamie Welch, Editor-in-Chief
At least nine fire companies were on scene Thursday afternoon to fight a fire at the College Union Building (CUB) construction site on campus at Gettysburg College.
A statement released by the college said sparks from a welding torch ignited a pile of construction material at the CUB demolition site just after 12:15 p.m. The statement said the fire was extinguished within 20 minutes.
Gettysburg College’s Director of Communications and Media Relations Jamie Yates said the fire was limited to the demolition area and did not spread to the main part of the building.
The fire is under investigation but appears to be accidental. Local emergency personnel confirmed that there were no injuries.
As part of the college’s emergency response, the campus emergency alert system was activated through email, social media, text message, and voicemail. The CUB was evacuated as a precaution, and pedestrian and vehicular access to the area of the east end of the CUB was restricted as crews worked to fight the fire.
College officials announced that employees who work in the CUB should go home for the day.
“The college is working to ventilate the building to ensure a safe environment before employees return,” the statement reads in part. “Unless CUB employees hear otherwise, they should report to work tomorrow.”
Authorities said power to the CUB has been restored, however gas to the building was still shut off as of Thursday afternoon.
In addition to the response from local emergency personnel, the fire departments of Gettysburg, Emmitsburg, Fairfield, Barlow, United, Southeastern Adams Volunteer Emergency Services, Cashtown, Arendtsville, and Frederick County Truck Service responded to the scene. Gettysburg College Facilities Services, Gettysburg College Department of Public Safety, and Columbia Gas Company also assisted.
“We are grateful for the prompt response and professionalism of local authorities and will continue to keep the community updated as needed,” the statement said.