Fire At IU’s HPER Building

In all more than 40 firefighters and all the trucks from the Bloomington Fire Department were dispatched to the building.

  • photo4

    Image 1 of 5

    Photo: Eoban Binder/WFIU

    It is not known whether asbestos is present in the smoke or not.

  • photo(2)

    Image 2 of 5

    Photo: Sara Wittmeyer/WFIU

    It is believed that a spark from nearby construction was the cause of the problem.

  • photo7

    Image 3 of 5

    Photo: Sara Wittmeyer/WFIU

    More than a dozen firefighters are battling the fire.

  • photo8

    Image 4 of 5

    Photo: Sara Wittmeyer/WFIU

    The entire building was completely evacuated around 10 a.m.

  • photo9

    Image 5 of 5

    Photo: Sara Wittmeyer/WFIU

    A fire was reported at the HPER at 10 a.m.

A fire at Indiana University’s Health Physical Education and Recreation Center on Tuesday morning appears to be linked to construction on the building’s roof.

Crews responded just after 10 a.m. to a fire on the roof of HPER near Indiana Memorial Union. In all more than 40 firefighters and all the trucks from the Bloomington Fire Department were dispatched to the building. While the exact cause is not known, Indiana University Police Chief Keith Cash says it appears to be linked to construction going on this summer to replace the roof of the building.

“Apparently while they were doing construction to the roof area somehow a spark caused the roof to catch on fire,” said Cash. ”It appears to be contained to what’s called the roller roof gym area.”

Firefighters wearing oxygen masks used chainsaws and axes to cut through the roof of the burning building. Bloomington Fire Chief Roger Kerr says for safety reasons, his crew worked in shifts to tackle the blaze.

“The heat is causing us a little bit of issues just trying to get everybody rehabbed before we have any issues,” Kerr said. “Our entire shift is here. We’ve started the call back procedure to get people who went off this morning recalled to get us some fresh crews to relieve some of the firefighters who are here working.”

The fire was contained to the intramural center and was under control by about 12:30 this afternoon. No one was injured in the fire. University officials say now they can begin assessing the damage and come up with a timeline for repairs.

Extra Footage:

Sara Wittmeyer

Sara Wittmeyer is the News Bureau Chief for WFIU and WTIU. Sara has more than a decade of experience as a news reporter and previously served with KBIA at the University of Missouri, WNKU at Northern Kentucky University in Highland Heights, KY, and at WCPO News in Cincinnati.

View all posts by this author »

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media News:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

Search News

Stay Connected

RSS e-mail itunes Facebook Twitter Flickr YouTube

Follow us on Twitter

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media News:

Recent Stories

Recent Videos

Find Us on Facebook