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EIU Media Relations

Investigation Planned into Cause of Fire at EIU's Renewable Energy Center


An investigation is continuing into the cause of a fire that occurred Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015, at the Renewable Energy Center on the campus of Eastern Illinois University.

Charleston firefighters were called to the site at 5:25 p.m. when a problem was reported inside a heat recovery unit, affecting one of the building’s four boilers.

Over the next few hours, the fire spread inside the three-story heat recovery unit, necessitating a call for additional Charleston Fire personnel, along with those from the Lincoln Fire Protection District, who remained on site until 1 a.m. Wednesday.

One city firefighter sustained steam burns through his protective gear, with the injury not being severe.  No other injuries were reported.  Four EIU employees were on site when the fire began.

University officials report that the Renewable Energy Center continues to produce steam for normal university operations.  University activities, including Saturday’s Fall 2015 Commencement ceremonies, will continue as scheduled.

EIU personnel will begin a comprehensive investigation into the cause of the fire on Monday, Dec. 21, allowing ample time for the 18-inch-thick fire brick to completely cool.  A damage estimate is pending.



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Media Relations
Josh Reinhart, Public Information Coordinator

2142 Old Main
Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920
Fax: 217-581-8444

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