burt fire

Firetrucks responding after a fire in Burt Hall on the OSU campus. 

The College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science reeled from the damage caused by a fire in Burt Hall that took place at the end of fall term, and subsequent efforts to evaluate and repair the damaged portion of the building reach far and wide across the university.

The fire started in a scientific microwave, in a laboratory on the second floor of Burt 2, on Friday, Nov. 30. The “2” indicates the specific section of Burt Hall, of which there are four.

There were no fire-related injuries. According to Jim Patton, the fire prevention officer at OSU, one firefighter endured a minor wrist injury after working to help contain the fire.

According to Jason Balderston, Facilities and Operations Manager for CEOAS, the water from the firefighters’ hoses and water from pipes, both domestic and lab-specific deionized water lines, ruptured during the fire and flooded the entire second floor. The water then seeped down to and flooded the first floor, then seeped down to and flooded the basement.The movement and accumulation of the water has also resulted in mold growth in many of the building’s wall cavities. 

Additionally, the smoke from the fire penetrated the third floor of the building, causing damage to scientific equipment and a great deal of soot accumulation.

The damage done to this building has also made it necessary to relocate many researchers and other staff and faculty. Balderston stated that approximately 40 people had to relocate, with relative success thus far. The damage done to this space has caused major set backs in the CEOAS researchers’ work.

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