Officials investigate fire at Arkansas Tech’s Williamson Hall

News

Update:
 
RUSSELLVILLE, Ark.- Officials say the fire at Williamson Hall started around 4:30 Wednesday afternoon and took nearly two hours before firefighters had it under control. 

No one was inside. The building was not being used this year because it was undergoing renovations. 

A university official says the fire appears to have started on the second floor. 

The fire left behind several holes in the roof and other parts of the building is badly charred. 

The building has a lot of history behind it, it’s been on campus since 1940, and was built with funds from President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. 

“Like I said, it’s almost an 80-year-old building,” says Sam Strasner with Arkansas Tech University. “Some of our older alumni remember it as the home of the Department of Music. The legendary Gene Witherspoon taught music here, and so there’s a lot of history in that building and a lot of people with kind of sad hearts tonight to see this damage.”

The cause of the fire is not known. 

Officials say the renovations were making the building more accessible, like adding a new elevator. 

Update:

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. – The Russellville Fire Department has been on the scene of a fire at Arkansas Tech University’s Williamson Hall for approximately two hours.

As of 6:25 p.m., Russellville Fire Marshal Richard Setian reports that the fire is under control and no injuries are reported. 

No details released on the cause of the fire. 

Update:

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. – The Russellville Fire Department has been on the scene of a fire at Arkansas Tech University’s Williamson Hall for approximately two hours.

As of 6:25 p.m., Russellville Fire Marshal Richard Setian reports that the fire is under control and no injuries are reported. 

No details released on the cause of the fire. 

Original story: 

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. (Arkansas Tech News) – The Russellville Fire Department (RFD) continues to attempt to contain and extinguish the fire at Arkansas Tech University’s Williamson Hall, a structure that has stood on campus since 1940. 

Just before 5 p.m., the Dover Fire Department was called to provide mutual aid. 

Williamson Hall is a classroom building at ATU. It has regularly housed the Department of Parks, Recreation and Hospitality Administration in recent years, but the facility has been unoccupied during the 2018-19 academic year due to ongoing renovations.

As stated earlier, Chief Joshua McMillian of the Arkansas Tech University Department of Public Safety reports that an appropriate perimeter has been established and there is no threat to life associated with the fire for the general public.

Individuals are encouraged to remain away from the immediate area of Williamson Hall at this time. The fire does not pose a threat to other structures on campus.

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