Small Fire Cancels Classes at Fine Arts Building Inconveniencing Students

Scott Andrews, Writer

At approximately 11:56 am on Feb. 20, 2023 the Chicago Fire Department responded to and extinguished a fire in the Fine Arts Building.   


University administrators on advice from the Chicago Fire Department closed the Fine Arts building for the rest of the day and are conducting a damage assessment. The wellbeing of students, faculty, and visitors to the Fine Arts building is a priority according to a statement by President Gloria J. Gibson,  “No injuries were reported, and everyone was evacuated safely.”   


Music Student Gabriela Kupryjanczuk reports being in a private lesson with her professor when the fire alarms went off. Kupryjanczuk evacuated to the parking lot where students and faculty remained while the situation was assessed. Students were not allowed back into the building according to Kupryjanczuk.    


According to Professor Nate Mathews, Art + Design Department Acting Chairperson, “Other than the table saw, I don’t believe anything was damaged by heat/fire. I am told there was some smoke in the building but not major.” 


The Chicago Fire Department hosed down the Sculpture Studio and sprayed water into the dust collection tubes to ensure the fire was totally extinguished.  It is possible the sensitive electronic equipment may have been water damaged in the room as stated by Mathews. The building has since been reopened and classes will continue to be held as scheduled.