PULLMAN, Wash. – Damage estimates from a recent series of suspicious fires on Washington State University’s Pullman campus have risen to more than $800,000. The damage resulted from three fires within the span of a week which destroyed two university housing community centers and damaged neighboring buildings, as well as causing damage to a research lab.
The most recent fire, which occurred early Tuesday damaged a laboratory in McCoy Hall. The damage there was limited, however, by the operation of a sprinkler system which quickly extinguished several fires that appear to have been intentionally set.
Earlier in the week, the community center structures at Nez Perce Village (May 22) and Chief Joseph Village apartments (May 26) were destroyed by fire. Both buildings are owned by WSU and are now considered to be a complete loss.
Estimated cost to replace the Nez Perce Village community center is $300,000. The estimated cost to replace the Chief Joseph Village community center and repair damage to surrounding buildings is $480,000. Meanwhile, damage to the McCoy laboratory and adjacent areas is $80,000.
WSU has provided the State’s insurance broker of record notice of loss initiating the insurance claims process. Discussions are underway at WSU to determine the best plan for replacing the structures.
WSU Police have reissued a call for students, staff and faculty to be aware of their surroundings while on campus and to report anything suspicious. An arson task force that includes WSU Police, the WSU Fire Marshall, the Pullman Fire Department and Pullman Police has been established to investigate these fires.
Anyone who has knowledge of these incidents which may be helpful to investigators is asked to contact either the WSU Police Department at 509 335-8548, or the Pullman Fire Department at 509 332-8172.