LCC officials believe blow torch ignited rat's nest inside campus building

LCC officials said construction workers were working on a building with a blow torch. They believe sparks from the torch caught a rat's nest on fire. (SBG photo)

EUGENE, Ore. – Lane Community College officials believe sparks from a construction worker’s blow torch ignited a rat’s nest inside a hallow concrete column in a Lane Community College building Tuesday.

The Goshen Fire Department responded around 9:40 a.m. to extinguish a small fire inside LCC’s New Arts Media Center.

The building is undergoing a remodel and construction workers were using blow torches.

However, officials said the sparks likely caught a rat’s nest on fire, but it could have also ignited several other materials. That’s why they called in the fire department.

The debris was found inside a hollow concrete column that is part of the building, according to LCC. Hollow concrete columns were used quite a bit back when this building was constructed in 1967.

“Sometimes hard to tell, you know, what's inside those beams and they travel in different directions and it could be insulation in there that catches fire, it could be acoustical ceiling that is filling in the bottom of the beam that could catch fire,” said Brian McMurray, project manager at Lane Community College.

Officials don’t expect the fire will delay work on the building.

The New Media Arts Building is slated to open in time for the winter term.

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