College sustains damage from roof fire, rainfall

Thomas Garcia

A fire at Mesalands Community College on Friday damaged a large portion of the roof on Building A on the west side of the college, college officials said on Tuesday.

The portions of the college that were affected by the fire include several offices and classrooms, said John Yearout, Mesalands director of public relations.

“The offices are back in use, but the classes have been moved to a different part of the building,” Yearout said.

Yearout said that there have been insurance and restoration adjustors going through the college surveying the fire damage and water damage that followed from Sunday’s rain.

Tucumcari Fire Chief Mike Cherry said the cause of the fire is still unknown and under investigation.

The fire was reported at 8:53 a.m. Friday and it took two hours to extinguish the flames, Cherry said.

“The report was dispatched as a structure fire, so five units responded,” Cherry said. “It did not take all five units to put out the fire.”

Yearout said that extensive damage was done to the west side roof as a result of the fire. The rainfall caused additional damage to two offices and a large meeting room’s electronics system.

“It never fails,” Yearout said. “How many weekends do we go without rain, but the moment that we have a hole on the roof it rains.”

Yearout said the offices that were damaged belong to Hans Kuss, grant director, and Justin Bollinger of livestock judging and agricultural studies.

The electronics controlled the sound, lights and projection system for meetings. Until they have completely dried, the electronic units cannot be tested.

“There is no estimated cost of the damage that was caused by the fire. The electronic core system is about $10,000 worth of electronic equipment” Yearout said.