Fire breaks out in Phillips Hall

An early-morning fire did ‘significant damage’ to a second-floor computer lab

Madeline Fuerstenberg

More stories from Madeline Fuerstenberg

November 2, 2020

Photo by Sam Farley

Phillips Hall is closed due to a minor chemical spill. (File Photo)

A fire broke out on the second floor of Phillips Hall early Saturday morning, according to an email sent to the student body at approximately 11:40 a.m.

According to the email, “significant damage” occurred in the Geography and Anthropology Student Research Lab, room 266A. 

The building’s fire alarm system was triggered at 5:19 a.m., the email said. The fire was contained to the room and the building was not occupied at the time. The total cost of damages is estimated to be around $50,000, according to WKOW.

The Eau Claire Fire Department responded to the alarm, along with the UW-Eau Claire Police Department.

“I want to thank the Eau Claire Fire Department, our campus police and our facilities team for responding so quickly to the fire,” Chancellor James C. Schmidt said in the email. “Their quick response helped contain the fire and limit the damage to the rest of the building.”

The cause of this fire is unknown at this time. According to the email, the UW-Eau Claire facilities team is inspecting the electrical, plumbing and air handling systems in the building.

Phillips is closed to the public until further notice.

More updates to follow.

Fuerstenberg can be reached at [email protected].