Elevator motor causes fire in Hall of Languages
A fire in a mechanical room on the ground floor of the Hall of Languages was discovered Sunday morning, according to a Syracuse University news alert released that afternoon. SU Public Safety and the Syracuse Fire Department responded to the scene and extinguished the fire.
The fire was contained within the 8 feet by 10 feet room that holds the motor for the building’s elevator, said Kevin Morrow, director of SU News Services. There was significant damage to the ground floor and floors above from smoke and hydraulic oil that leaked from the motor.
The motor malfunctioned and leaked hydraulic oil, which spread in a puddle across portions of the ground floor, including some classrooms, and fueled the fire, Morrow said. The smoke also carried an oily mist that damaged walls and ceilings on the ground floor and higher floors of the building.
A repair company ripped up portions of damaged carpet and mopped down the floors, walls and ceilings, Morrow said. Some doors will need to be replaced, and workers are determining whether walls on the ground floor absorbed the oil puddle.
There was no structural damage to the building, according to the news alert.
The total cost of repairs has not been decided because the extent of the damage is still being determined, Morrow said.
The College of Arts and Sciences faculty and staff have been relocated to other offices on campus, Morrow said. The fire will not delay the posting of grades for the fall semester.
The Hall of Languages was opened in 1873 and is SU’s oldest building, according to SU’s Web site. The interior of the building was renovated in 1978, and its classrooms can now hold up to 2,235 students.
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