Monday, Oct. 11


Fire destroys Lincoln College maintenance building     Send a link to a friend

[OCT. 11, 2004]  About 50 firefighters were called to the scene at Lincoln College early Sunday afternoon. Lincoln Fire Department Chief Bucky Washam said smoke was so thick around the maintenance department building when they arrived that they couldn't get a handle on the seat of the fire. Smoke was reported to be seen as far away as the highway around 2 p.m.  [Click here for photos by Bob Frank.]

The facility burned to the ground, but the adjacent Adams Art Studio and the garage for Java Junction across the alley were preserved.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. The state fire marshal was in the area and did attend the scene. The chief requests anyone with early pictures or video of the fire to bring them to the downtown fire department office. It may assist in determining the cause. The loaned materials will be returned.

No damage estimates were available this morning. About five vehicles and several propane tanks were pulled from the fire and piled aside. Five beautifully restored carousel horses belonging to the maintenance director, Ron Craig, were lost. “But it's just stuff,” he said.

Although the entire maintenance department facility was lost, Craig said, the school operation will not be affected. The school of about 750 students is on fall break. When students return for classes tomorrow, the maintenance department will be at full operation.

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Capt. Jeff Singleton said the call came in to the department at 1:58 p.m. and firefighters left the scene at about 10 p.m. The city was aided by Atlanta, Mount Pulaski and Lincoln Rural fire departments.

Logan County Paramedic Association and the Logan County Sheriff's Auxiliary also provided services at the scene. Several firefighters sustained minor injuries. One was treated and released at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital after debris fell on him. Others suffered strains and sprains from moving heavy equipment and items.

Chief Washam expressed a special thanks to the Sheriff's Auxiliary for their support. The auxiliary is an all-volunteer organization that covers their own expenses. The chief encourages anyone looking for a good cause to donate to this group.

[Jan Youngquist]

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