PULLMAN, Wash.— Fire crews say an arsonist broke into a research building on the W.S.U. campus early Tuesday morning, setting the 3rd damaging fire on campus in a week.
Authorities said the fire alarm went off in the College of Veterinary Medicine’s McCoy Hall around 12:30 a.m. When authorities arrived, they found a broken window at an isolated, south entrance to the building. Inside, firefighters and police officers found several points of ignition. The overhead sprinkler system limited fire damage, but authorities say there is extensive water damage.
The building was cordoned off as a crime scene as crews searched for a suspect. Authorities said the building is equipped with cameras and WSU Police planned to go through footage looking for any leads in the case. The Spokane Police Department even brought down a tracking dog for the search but crews had no luck in locating a suspect.
WSU released this statement on the fire:
“WSU Police and the Pullman Fire Department are on the scene of an arson fire at McCoy Hall. An activated sprinkler system kept damage to a minimum and there are no continuing risks to individuals or other property. The Pullman Fire Department and the WSU Police Department will be investigating this fire. Please be aware of your surroundings and report anything suspicious. If you have any knowledge regarding this incident you believe may be helpful, please contact either the Pullman Fire Department at 509 332-8172 or the WSU Police Department at 509 335-8548.”
Pullman firefighters were called to two other fires that destroyed the community buildings at Nez Perce apartments on Tuesday, May 22, and Chief Joseph apartments on Saturday, May 26.
Authorities said evidence from the Chief Joe apartments was sent to the Washington State Crime Lab.