San Antonio, TX Our Lady of the Lake University Fire, May 2008

Our Lady of the Lake University

On May 6, 2008, a fire was reported on the campus at 7:44 p.m. CDT. The fire affected all four floors of Main, the often said "main image" of Our Lady of the Lake University. The fire quickly changed from a three- to four-alarm fire after an hour's time with five pumper trucks battling the blaze. No injuries or deaths occurred. It appeared as if the roof and one spire had collapsed. Much of the damage to the building was due to the amount of water poured into the building to contain the blaze. While the firefighters struggled with the fourth floor, some of the University's IT staff went in and protected the servers that were located on the first floor of the same building. Operations were coordinated from the Library building located across 24th Street from Main. There was one bomb threat the day before the fire. This had caused some concern that the incident was arson-related. Firefighters suspect that the fire started on the fourth floor of the Main building due to an electrical short.

The community quickly rallied and help raise funds to reconstruct the building and reconstruction is scheduled to finalize by 2010.

Parts of the roof and one of the two main spires atop the Main Building, built in 1895, collapsed in the fire. Besides offices, the building houses classrooms, dormitory rooms, a cafeteria, the university’s mainframe computer and most of its servers.

Read the article from the New York Times --