Investigation underway for intentionally set fire at Fine Arts Building, damages estimated at $10,000

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UPDATE SEPT. 25 11:20 A.M.: The Fine Arts Building is back open for normal use, according to an alert sent to students by UPD. However, the men’s restroom in the center of the building remains closed and is taped off.

Large fans have been placed in the hallway near the restrooms and several ceiling tiles have been removed.

UPDATE 3:18 P.M.: Investigators with the Austin Fire Department have determined the fire at the Fine Arts Building was intentionally set, said Josh Portie, a captain with the department.

“The estimated dollar amount damage to to the structure … to be around $10,000,” Portie said.

No suspects have been named.

“All the fire and heat damage was all isolated to a specific restroom,” Portie said. “We did have some smoke damage throughout the building.”

The Fine Arts building remains closed and no timetable has been given for when classes will resume in the building.

“I have been told that the damage is minimal,” Director of Communications at St. Edward’s University Mischelle Diaz said. “And so it’s not expected that the building will be closed for an extended amount of time.”

Diaz says anyone who left belongings in the building should contact UPD.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Austin Fire Department at 512-974-0240.

UPDATE 1:52 P.M.: St. Edward’s University tweeted that the fire at the Fine Arts Building was intentionally set in the bathroom. Damages are estimated to be $10,000.

An investigation is underway to determine who set the fire.

ORIGINAL STORY: A fire was reported in the Fine Arts Building at St. Edward’s University about 9:45 a.m. in the men’s restroom. No injuries were reported, said a spokesperson with Austin Fire Department.

All classes in the Fine Arts Building are cancelled for the day, and the building will be closed. Officials will be giving students their belongings later this afternoon.

The extent of damage is unclear right now. 

Stay with Hilltop Views as the story develops.