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Fire chief JB Kimble and others gather outside Agnes Howard Hall while firefighters tried to pinpoint the cause of a fire alarm reported at the campus at about 1:45 p.m. Monday afternoon.

Electrical fire breaks out in historic Wesleyan dorm

Students were evacuated from a dorm on the campus on West Virginia Wesleyan College Monday afternoon after an electrical fire broke out in the upper floors of the building.

Buckhannon fire chief J.B. Kimble said the fire was isolated to two utility rooms and between the third and fourth floors of Agnes Howard Hall. No smoke was visible from the exterior of the building.

“It was between the floors,” Kimble told My Buckhannon. “It traveled up the conduit and spread to some floor joists. The college maintenance guys hit it with a fire extinguisher. We just had to tear it out and mop up.

“This large of a building, you leave a hot ember, and an hour later it is in the attic and the whole building is burning.”

Meade Street was closed between College Avenue and Camden Avenue as firefighters worked to extinguish the fire. No one was injured, Kimble noted.

Aggie, as it is known by students, was originally built in 1895. The four-story brick building is located near the intersection of Meade Street and College Avenue.

Wesleyan vice president of advancement Bob Skinner said students on the third and fourth floors will be displaced while the college cleans up from the fire.

“It’s the third and fourth floors that are really impacted right now,” Skinner said. “The fire marshal will come in and take a look. We’ve got to get to the root of everything and make sure things are safe for students and then we’ll be back in full swing.”

Students on the upper floors will be moved temporarily to other rooms on campus, Skinner said. He also praised the response from local firefighters.

“Buckhannon’s got a great fire department, and we appreciate the county guys coming too,” he said.

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