March 26, 2013

Baptist Campus Ministries building set ablaze over spring break, ‘damage was minimal’ say officials

By Will Ryan–

The BCM building being attended to by firefighters. A full company was dispatched to the scene, but say they had little trouble extinguishing the fire.

The Baptist Community Ministry building was undergoing renovation; the building was being outfitted with a new, metal roof.
On March 14, as a contractor used a metal-cutting saw to slice through a sheet of roofing, sparks flew and set flame to the paper-based insulation that had been left exposed.

The Louisville Fire Department responded quickly to douse the flames while numerous pedestrian onlookers watched the situation unfold.

The fire was easily extinguished and the crew began looking for “hot spots,” high-temperature areas that can catch fire if the material is agitated. In the process of removing these risks, the fire spread to the grass surrounding the building. As U of L Director of Communications John Drees explained it, “there was more fire on the ground from where the firefighters shoveled the hot spots than there was on the roof to begin with.”

The firefighters doused the second blaze quickly and the BCM building sustained minimal damage. Mr. Drees said of the fire, “it affected only about two thirds of the southern face of the roof, and the contracting agency is going to cover the cost of the damages.”

The building itself is was not seriously damaged; repairs to the  roof have been successfully completed, and the building has returned to use as normal. There were no injuries from the incident. It will be left up to Campus Minister Paul Gibson to decide whether or not the fire was an act of God.

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Photo by Will Ryan/The Louisville Cardinal

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