Small lamp causes fire
at Fine Arts
By Ed De La Garza
Daily Cougar Staff
The elements have it in for the Fine Arts
In June, Tropical Storm Allison left clean-up
crews to deal with water damage. Saturday, fire took a crack at it — or,
more specifically, at Room
Lorrie Novosad/The Daily
A fire at the Fine Arts Building
damaged a chair and desk, but was contained by firefighters before it spread
or did significant damage. The fire
was ruled accidental.
Two fire trucks were dispatched to the
site, along Entrance 16, at 5:42 p.m., making it there at 6:11. Firefighters
quickly put out a small fire that
was ruled accidental.
"It appears there was a small lamp left
on in a vicinity where there were some chemicals," UH Police Department
Lt. Roger Byars said. "Heat
from the lamp mixed with the chemical
While it was one more bit of bad news for
a building that was just getting back to normal following Allison, an alert
system installed in 1999
prevented the fire from spreading into
In fact, any damage caused seemed to be
related more to smoke than fire. The actual fire was confined to a desk
and chair. The main problem
caused by the fire was added clean-up
to deal with.
The room was used as studio space for advanced
metalsmith students. Classes that would have been scheduled for that room
Some had been relocated since the flood.
The flood may have made things easier to deal with this time around.
"One thing to keep in mind is that we went
through the flood," said Pat Deeves, assistant director of the UH art department.
"The jewelry classes
were relocated and we barely got them
back for the beginning of school. But we know what can be done with environmental
UHPD concluded its investigation, determining
no criminal activity was involved and there was no danger to anyone at
the building. Though
chemicals were involved, there were no
explosions and no one was hurt during the incident.
The total cost of the damage cannot be
determined until the facilities maintenance department finishes its clean-up,
said Robert Schneller,
executive director of safety and risk
"We investigate and see if any additional
action needs to be taken," he said. "Then we do a follow-up."