After fire, Dempster Hall to close rest of the week - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

After fire, Dempster Hall to close rest of the week

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(Source: KFVS photojournalist Joshua Russell) (Source: KFVS photojournalist Joshua Russell)
(Source: KFVS photojournalist Joshua Russell (Source: KFVS photojournalist Joshua Russell
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

Fire crews put out a fire on the roof of a building on the campus of Southeast Missouri State University.

Ann Hayes, director of the news bureau at Southeast Missouri State University, says the fire started on the roof of Dempster Hall.

No one was injured.

Hayes says the fire department took 15 minutes to put out the fire. The call went out at 1:37 p.m.

Due to the fire, Dempster Hall will be closed for the rest of the week.

A final assessment by the insurance company and engineers will be completed in the next few days, and the timing on reopening portions of the building will be shared at that time, according to Kathy Mangels, vice president for finance and administration.

According to the university, instructors will be in contact with students who are enrolled in summer classes that were meeting in Dempster Hall to pass on alternate class locations.

Mangels says cleanup in the building has begun, and structural engineers are evaluating the roof so repairs can be done.

A student in the building at the time had this to say:

"I went into the room to register for classes and the fire alarm went off," Robert Kilpatrick said. "It was big. When I walked out of the building, you could see the smoke bellowing up from the roof and then about 3 or 4 minutes later, you could see the actual fire."

The fire was contained to the roof. It did not reach the interior of the building.

According to the Cape Girardeau Fire Department, heavy black smoke and fire was coming from the roof of the building when they arrived. Crews raised the ladder truck to the roof to extinguish it.

They say off-duty fire personnel, along with Jackson and Scott City departments were called to help with the fire.

Firefighters say there was heavy damage to the roof area; water and moderate smoke damage on the second floor and light smoke damage to the first floor.

Dempster Hall is closed. There will be no classes in the building on Tuesday, and Dempster employees should not report to work.

The fire was investigated by the department's investigators and the state fire marshal.

"It was pretty calm I guess cause they thought it was a false alarm but everyone got out ok and that's what I'm glad about," Kilpatrick said. 

According to Southeast's website, Dempster Hall was completed in 1996 and is a $15.8 million building. It is home to the Donald L. Harrison College of Business.

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