4-alarm fire rips through Pratt campus building

Posted at 9:27 AM, Feb 15, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-15 09:27:01-05

It was not the way some college students over at Pratt Institute expected to wake up – the sounds of fire engines battling a four-alarm blaze at the school’s main building.

“It was like a movie, the flames were huge, ” said Janet Lee.

When fire officials arrived, the sixth floor, which is home to the school’s Fine Arts Department, was completely engulfed in flames.    Fire officials say the floor consists of art studios and classrooms.   Part of the problem, the fact that the building is over a hundred years old, and made of mostly wood.

‘It is a very old building with very high ceilings, fifteen foot ceilings” says Chief James Esposito.  “There was a lot of overhauling and a partial roof collapse.”

The blaze took about two hours to be deemed under control.    By the time it was out, the art department was destroyed and much of the building suffered major water damage.

The good news in all of this was the fact that the building was closed to students and faculty for the night.   That meant no reported injuries to students, staff or firefighters.

However, fire officials do not have a cause and are calling this suspicious until they can determine where this began.

In the meantime, students are obviously shaken and sad to see some of their hard work, destroyed.

“I’m thinking about all the fine arts majors and all the work they just lost, the papers and paintings were just flying down in the wind,” said one student.