Fire closes University of Manitoba

March 28, 2009 at 9:59 PM

WINNIPEG, Manitoba, March 28 (UPI) -- Parts of the University of Manitoba were evacuated Saturday afternoon after a fire began in a building that houses the department of zoology.

The fire in the Duff Roblin Building was reported shortly after noon, the Winnipeg Free Press reported. Bill Clark of the Winnipeg Fire Department said firefighters pulled out when university officials told the department that more than 250 hazardous chemicals are stored in the building.

The campus was closed to anyone entering, while a hazardous materials team, dozens of fire trucks and other emergency equipment was called in. Clark said firefighters had to break through the side of the building to fight the blaze from outside because the fire was so hot and potentially dangerous.

The fire was extinguished by 3 p.m., leaving the building heavily damaged. Even areas distant from the fire sustained smoke damage, Clark said.

No injuries were reported. Investigators were not able to enter the building immediately because the air had not been tested.

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