Arson causes Moody evacuation, evening class displacements

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

San Antonio Fire Department firefighters do a standard protocol of washing their bunker gear with water in Lot 16 after a small fire in a trash can inside a men’s restroom on the third floor of Moody Nov. 11. This process, designed to protect firefighters from hazardous chemicals, is part of a cancer prevention policy. There were nine firetrucks present. The firefighters declined to give their names to The Ranger. Andrea Moreno

Moody will undergo maintenance and classes will meet as scheduled, collegewide email says.

By Rogelio Escamilla

A small fire in the third-floor men’s bathroom of Moody Learning Center caused more than 100 staff and students to evacuate the building 2 p.m. Nov. 11.

Strategic communications Coordinator Russell Guerrero said the fire was not an accident, but arson.

“Someone intentionally set a fire in the trash can,” he said. “Campus police are looking into this. There was more smoke than there was fire, so they were able to put it out quickly. They were mostly clearing smoke from the building.”

Woody Woodward, San Antonio Fire Department public relations manager, said the damage from the fire was minimal.

“They got the fire out right away,” he said Tuesday at the scene. “But there’s a lot of smoke, and there weren’t any windows to open. So, the issue is making sure the floors are clear and making sure there isn’t any more smoke.

Firefighters had to break three west-facing windows on the third floor to allow smoke to exit the building.

No injuries were reported in the fire or the evacuation.

As firefighters reversed Moody’s ventilation to remove smoke, Janae Johnson, director of college services, addressed the evacuated staff in the lobby of Loftin.

She said Moody would remain closed for the rest of the day, and any evening classes scheduled for Moody would be moved to the second floor of the nursing complex.

Shortly thereafter, she said employees would be allowed to enter the first and second floors to retrieve their belongings.

San Antonio Fire Department firefighters guard the west side of Moody after a small fire in a trash can inside a men’s restroom on the third floor Nov. 11 caused an evacuation of the building. Firefighters broke three windows to provide ventilation for the smoke. Andrea Moreno

Johnson later said students were allowed to access all other floors 10 to 15 minutes after the first group to retrieve belongings.

About nine fire engines responded to the call, which Guerrero said was a precaution because of Moody’s height and the possibility for fire to spread.

The collegewide email sent at 5:30 a.m. advised staff and students to dress warmly, as the scheduled maintenance could result in cooler temperatures on the first four floors.

Johnson said the maintenance will involve removing any debris and cleaning the area around the fire.

She said the company responsible for the cleanup process is Blackmon Mooring.

The cost of repairing the broken windows and any other damages is not yet known, and will be made available after the damage report is provided by the district’s enterprise risk management department and Alamo Colleges police department.

Johnson said the damage report should be received in about two days.

To report any suspicious activity on campus, call the district’s 24-hour dispatch at 210-485-0099. Emergencies should be reported to 210-485-0911.


Leave A Reply