Damage closes building indefinitely

photo by Joshua Wagner | The Ranger

March 28, 2012

By Brittney Richerson | Ranger Editor

photo by Joshua Wagner | The Ranger

ABOUT 20 motorcycles were lost and an undetermined amount of smoke damage was caused to recently refurbished classrooms by an early morning fire March 22 in Building B on Amarillo College’s West Campus, said AC spokesman Joe Wyatt.

The fire caused $300,000 in damage, said Amarillo Fire Department Capt. Wes Hall. He said the cause of the incident was determined by the fire marshal’s office to be accidental.

Wyatt said the fire, which started in the warehouse at the north end of the building, probably was caused by a malfunction in a charging device attached to one of the motorcycles in storage.

“A fleet of AC motorcycles were kept in the garage area of the building,” Wyatt said.

“One caught fire, causing a chain reaction. All of the bikes are ruined now.

Wyatt said a nursing class was in session in one of the classrooms on the south end of the building at the time of the fire. Everyone was evacuated immediately, he said.

According to Resource 25, the software used at AC to track scheduling on campuses, no classes were supposed to be in Building B until 1 p.m. that day, said classroom scheduler and report specialist Cynthia Terry.

“Scheduling is important for keeping things organized, but above all, it really is a security issue,” Terry said.

“I send reports to the AC police daily with info on who is where and what is going on in each building so they know how to locate our students and staff in case of an emergency.”

She said she was pleased West Campus officials and faculty worked quickly to make sure everyone in the building was accounted for and that no lives were in jeopardy.

Terry said the Nursing Division contacted her with their adjusted schedule after the incident and that everything is updated in her system.

“Hopefully everyone realizes how important our scheduling system is now and nothing like this will happen again,” Terry said.

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