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Fire At IU’s HPER Building

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.

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