UPDATE: Fire investigators determined the fire at a building on the campus of Bennignton College was was accidental.
They say there were two potential electrical causes; one being the wiring in the very old farm building and secondly the ongoing work contractors have been doing outside the building for the past two weeks.
Prior to the fire, Bennington College employees also reported that lights were flickering inside “the Barn” Tuesday, and a humming or buzzing noise coming from inside a wall.
The fire forced the evacuation of a building that houses classes, and more.
The Vermont college posted on Facebook that the fire Tuesday afternoon was in a two-story building called “the Barn.” The building was evacuated quickly, and no staff, students or faculty were injured.
“We just saw a little hole in the wall and it started smoking and everyone was outside, and all of a sudden, flames just kept getting bigger. Smoke was everywhere. It was pretty crazy,” Sophomore Maia Lafortezza said.
Lafortezza said administration offices were in that building, along with records. Literature classes were held in “the Barn” too.
At one point, faculty members could be seen trying to get some of the paintings out.
Classes at the building were canceled Tuesday afternoon.
Local fire chief Joe Hayes told the Bennington Banner, one firefighter was injured while pulling a hose off a truck. The college said on Twitter, the firefighter had been released from the hospital. No further details were given.
Damage to the property was estimated at approximately $250,000.00