By: Brittney Richerson | Ranger Editor
The fire on Amarillo College’s West Campus early Thursday was determined to be accidental and caused $300,000 in damage, said Amarillo Fire Department Capt. Wes Hall.
Seven fire units responded to a call at 8:23 a.m. to Building B on the West Campus, said AC Police Officer Carl Loya. The fire was under control within an hour.
All AC students, faculty and staff were notified by the AC Alert system at about 8:45 a.m.
AC spokesman Joe Wyatt said one class was in session in one of the recently renovated classrooms on the south end of Building B at the time of the fire. The building was immediately evacuated, he said.
Wyatt said the fire broke out in the warehouse at the north end of Building B. The warehouse and storage rooms in the building, unlike the classrooms, had not been renovated as part of the 2008 bond election project.
“A fleet of AC motorcycles were kept in the garage or warehouse area of the building,” Wyatt said. “There were about 15 to 20 motorcycles in storage in that room and one caught fire, causing a chain reaction. All of the bikes are ruined now.”
Wyatt said there was a malfunction in a charging device attached to one of the motorcycles, causing the fire.
The Amarillo Fire Marshal’s Office determined the cause of the fire to be accidental, but the exact cause was undetermined, Hall said.
Wyatt said even though the Fire Marshal’s Office said the fire caused $300,000 in damage, there is no way for college officials to be sure of the extent of the damage.
“The smoke damage in the south end of the building and in all the refurbished classrooms is being assessed,” Wyatt said. “We don’t even know the extent of the damage done to the new technology and computers. We also don’t know the actual value of the motorcycles that were lost.”Building B is closed indefinitely, Wyatt said.