Cause of fire 'undetermined' at CSU equine veterinary lab

Cause of fire 'undetermined' at CSU equine veterinary lab

Nov 29, 2011
By staff
Fort Collins, Colo. — The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) could not pinpoint the cause of a July fire that ripped through Colorado State University’s (CSU) Equine Reproduction Laboratory office building, the university reports.

ATF officially ruled the cause of the blaze as "undetermined." No people or horses were injured during the early morning fire, which forced the relocation of 20 horses, but the equine veterinary laboratory suffered damages estimated between $9 million and $15 million. The building has since been torn down and plans to rebuild are in the works, says CSU spokeswoman Dell Rae Moellenburg.

Twenty-foot flames extended above the roof when firefighters with the Poudre Fire Authority arrived. Fire crews remained on the scene throughout the night extinguishing hot spots, explains Patrick Love of the Poudre Fire Authority.

ATF's recent ruling was based on the severity of the fire, Love explains. In fact, ATF didn’t have enough conclusive evidence to determine if the fire was accidental or incendiary, he says.

The 6,000-square-foot building was built in 1979 and underwent three expansions/renovations during its history—the last in early 2004. The building was used for teaching, demonstrations, offices and research. Arrangements are continuously being made to accommodate the 2012 breeding season in light of the loss of the facility, according to CSU.

Architects have been hired to create a plan to rebuild the center, but insurance reimbursements will only cover damage costs related to the fire, CSU notes. More details about the rebuild will be available in the January issue of DVM Newsmagazine.