Dec 052007
Authors: J. David McSwane

A fire in CSU’s new Academic Village caused a scare early Wednesday morning as construction workers were reporting to work.

At 6:24 a.m., an electrician working at the construction site of what will be the Dining Commons at 800 W. Pitkin Street reported a fire on the roof, said Patrick Love, a Poudre Fire Authority spokesperson.

The fire, contained to a Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) unit on the roof, was extinguished 10 minutes after emergency crews arrived.

“But smoke made it’s way into the third floor of the building,” Love said minutes after the fire was put out. “That’s what we’re seeing, the HVAC unit.”

All workers in the building were evacuated, according to the CSU Police Department.

One construction worker was treated for minor smoke inhalation, according to a PFA press release.

None of the students living in adjacent residence halls were evacuated, said Tonie Miyamoto, communications coordinator for Housing and Dining Services.

The HVAC unit destroyed by the fire was valued at about $150,000 to $200,000, she said, but because the building is still a construction site, the contractor is liable to replace the unit, not the university.

No official amount of damages has been determined. And the damage appears to have been limited to the unit.

“They’re checking out all the ventilation systems,” Miyamoto said. “We’re not anticipating any interior damage.”

Five fire engines, two trucks, two fire captains and an investigator arrived in the second wave of response, Love said. PFA is conducting an investigation into what caused the fire.

The Academic Village, a $42 million project, opened up to honors and engineering students in the fall. And the Dining Commons building is set to open in fall 2008.

Editor in Chief J. David McSwane can be reached at

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