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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    “‘Small fire’ causes fire, water damage at Rec Center”

    An electrical fire at the Student Recreation Center on the morning of Jan. 4 was extinguished by the building’s emergency sprinkler system, resulting in an estimated $35,000 worth of damage, according to a Tucson Fire Department report.

    The Rec Center reopens today at 6 a.m.

    “”Apparently, some exercise equipment caught fire, either from a malfunction of the equipment or a short,”” said Sgt. Eugene Mejia, public information officer for the University of Arizona Police Department.

    “”It wasn’t arson-caused,”” he added.

    Three UAPD officers arrived at the Rec Center, 1400 E. Sixth St., at 5:47 a.m., and at 6:11 a.m., an alarm came into the Tucson Fire Department.

    When TFD dispatchers arrived, they noticed water leaking through the ceiling into the weight room, said Capt. Norm Carlton, the department’s public information officer.

    “”There was no fire by the time we got there,”” Carlton said. “”There was just water damage.””

    When a UAPD officer went to inspect the weight room, he noticed a strong odor of smoke, Carlton said.

    “”After further checking, they found a sprinkler head, by the aerobics room and by the weight room, that was still going,”” he said. “”The fire was out, but the sprinkler was still active.””

    The sprinkler and alarm were both working as intended and were shut off when officers finished inspecting, Mejia said.

    The only piece of equipment damaged was an elliptical machine valued at about $8,000, said Steve Holland, director of Risk Management and Safety.

    The sprinkler system also caused flood damage to the floors and some ceiling tiles, he said.

    “”I don’t really know the details,”” Holland said. “”My sense is that it’s more like $15,000 (in damage).””

    The cost to repair the damage is fully covered by the university’s insurance policy, Holland said, and thus the UA budget will not incur any direct costs.

    No one from the Department of Campus Recreation could be reached for comment yesterday. A prerecorded message at the Rec Center’s business office said “”a small fire … that has left minimal damage”” closed the building until this morning.

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