The combination of a hot radiator, dry wood and sawdust is believed to be what triggered an early evening fire Friday at Waller Hall along Oakland Avenue on the Indiana University of Pennsylvania campus.
No injuries were reported, and damage was said to be minimal.
“Fortunately, there was a maintenance worker from IUP there,” Indiana Fire Association Assistant Chief Ron Moreau said. “He put it out with a fire extinguisher.”
The maintenance worker also called IUP campus police.
After that, concern that the fire might have made its way into the walls of one of the older buildings on the IUP campus prompted Indiana County Emergency Management Agency to call IFA as well as Clymer and Homer City volunteer firefighters, a county hazmat Team 900, and Citizens’ Ambulance.
IUP Executive Director of Media Relations Michelle Fryling said the fire was limited to a set design area where work was being done for an upcoming show.
Moreau said firefighters approached the area from a basement entrance on the Oakland Avenue side of the building and off the dock around the other side of the building.
The assistant chief said maintenance workers cut up the burned wood and pressurized water sprayed there afterward.
Fryling said campus police did a walk-through and were going to patrol the building to watch for any rekindling.
IFA also provided manpower to keep traffic going past Waller Hall, as fire trucks arrived, motorists were seeking to get around the confusion, and a parking lot across from Waller Hall filled up with emergency and other vehicles.
While some activity was going on at IUP Friday evening, the campus still is quiet because of spring break, which concludes Monday.