PHOTOS: Cleanup begins at Arkansas college after lightning sparks fire in 113-year-old building


Photographs by South Arkansas Community College

The Administration Board Room at South Arkansas Community College covered in wet insulation after the fire.

Officials at a south Arkansas college are cleaning up after lightning sparked a fire in a 113-year-old building during the weekend's storms.

The administration building at South Arkansas Community College in El Dorado was struck about 10:30 p.m. Friday, the school said.

Two EF-1 tornadoes were reported in El Dorado on Friday and Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.

"Thankfully, the building was unoccupied and no one was injured, and the blaze was contained to the attic of the building," a Facebook post from the school reads.

The El Dorado and Lawson fire departments reportedly put the fire out about 4 p.m. Saturday.

The building is 113 years old and sustained extensive damage from smoke and from water used to extinguish the blaze, according to the college.


Officials are cleaning up after lightning sparked a fire in South Arkansas Community College's administration building on Apr... + Enlarge

The two dozen employees who worked there have been relocated temporarily, the school said. Officials have begun the process of salvaging antiques, according to school spokesman Heath Waldrop. Specialists have said the building is suitable for restoration, he added.

"That was rejuvenating news after a long, exhausting and stressful weekend," the school wrote on Facebook. "We have a long way to go, but we'll get there!"

The building is known as the 1905 Junior College Building on the National Register of Historic Places and housed a high school, junior high school and junior college at different times during the 20th century.

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