Blaze damages university building
Fire ripped through a University of Delaware maintenance building Tuesday night, injuring one firefighter and closing the building indefinitely.
The fire broke out around 6:15 p.m. in the plant operations complex at 200 Academy St. according to John H. Farrell IV, a spokesman
for Aetna Hose Hook and Ladder Company. Firefighters arrived to find heavy smoke pouring from offices on the second floor.
The offices had no windows or doors, making it difficult to access the fire.
“Crews making their way to the fire area through interior stairs were met by blast furnace type conditions, since the heat and smoke had no openings to the outside,” Farrell said. “Vertical ventilation by ladder companies was slowed due to the fact the normal roof material was covered in slate.”
The cold temperatures outside complicated the effort, as water sprayed on the fire quickly froze on sidewalks and streets.
Approximately 100 firefighters and EMTs from a dozen fire departments in New Castle County, Cecil County, Md., and Chester County, Pa., responded to the two-alarm fire.
Firefighters brought the blaze under control in approximately two hours and continued working at the scene for another hour.
One Aetna firefighter was taken to Christina Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries, Farrell said.
UD officials said the staff members who work in the building will be reassigned to temporary space while the damage is repaired.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Firefighters work to put out a fire in a University of Delaware building located at 200 Academy St.