Fire leaves extensive smoke, water damage at K-State's Hale Library

(WIBW/Ann Olamiju)
(WIBW/Ann Olamiju)(WIBW)
Published: May. 22, 2018 at 5:27 PM CDT
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Fire crews expected to remain on the Kansas State campus into Wednesday, keeping an eye on a fire at Hale Library. Federal investigators have also

to determine its cause.

Manhattan fire officials says the fire was in the roof, but led to extensive smoke and water damage on all five floors in the old section of the building. It also forced Kansas State University to bring down its online systems for several hours Tuesday night.

The investigation into what caused it was just getting underway Tuesday night, fire officials told 13 NEWS.

Authorities say the fire was first reported at Hale Library just after 4 p.m. Tuesday. K-State tweeted that emergency crews were heading to check reports of smoke in the library. The 400,000-square-foot building was evacuated students were urged to stay away from the area.

Manhattan fire officials say the fire started in the roof of the northwest part of the original Farrell Library portion of the building. While the fire itself stayed in the roof, they say it spread to areas that were difficult to reach. While it was contained by 6:30 p.m., it was 8:30 p.m. they considered it under control.

In all, some 70 emergency personnel were involved in the effort. In addition to Manhattan, crews from Riley County Emergency Medical Services, Fort Riley and Blue Township assisted.

No injuries were reported.

The library will remain closed until further notice. K-State tweeted a notice just after 8:30 p.m. Tuesday that, due to the fire, they would have to bring down their online systems including HRIS, KSIS and Canvas. It was not known how long before it would be fully operational, but most web links appeared to be functioning again by 10 p.m.

The library was built in the 1920s and underwent a massive remodel and addition in the 1990s. Another renovation was underway, but fire officials said it was too early to know whether it was connected to the fire.