Tuesday, Oct. 26

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LC fire aftermath     Send a link to a friend

[OCT. 26, 2004]  The landscape on the Lincoln College campus has changed over the past two weeks. On Sunday, Oct. 10, a fire destroyed the former maintenance building, which was housed across from the McKinstry Memorial Library on the southeast edge of the campus. All that remained of three connected buildings the next morning was a perimeter of small portions of brick wall that falsely appeared to protect a huge pile of charred debris, propane tanks standing in a line at the alley's edge, and an odd-to-the-common-senses stack made of several crushed vehicles standing around back.

The building was already engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived at the four-alarm fire at 2 p.m. Due to the delayed notice of the fire and the type and quantity of chemicals stored in the building, heavy smoke had engulfed the building, making it difficult to assess the source of the fire.

Early on, firefighters went in and equipment was used to remove fuel sources, such as the large propane tanks and vehicles, in order to get the fire under control. Moving these things has contributed to making the subsequent investigation of the fire's origin difficult. No cause has yet been determined.

A week later, as soon as fire investigators had completed their tasks, a bulldozer began methodically loading dump trucks and has nearly scraped the concrete slab clean. The mess is almost all gone now and the foundation will come out next, Lincoln College maintenance director Ron Craig said.

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A complete list of all that was in the building has not been completed yet, but estimates are at about $600,000 to $700,000 loss.

Next the college board will decide what to do for a new maintenance building, whether to rebuild on that location or somewhere else. The board meets in December and will follow the recommendation of the building and grounds committee.

[Pictorial review]

["Fire destroys Lincoln College maintenance building"]

[Jan Youngquist]

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