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College blaze, sparked by laser cutter, caused $1.5M in damage

Classes will resume at Georgian College’s Barrie campus on Thursday, except in 'E' Building where classes will be relocated
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Classes will resume at Georgian College's Barrie campus on Thursday following this morning's fire, which caused more than a million dollars in damages.

The Barrie fire department's public information officer, Samantha Hoffmann, said investigators were able to pinpoint a cause. 

“Investigators determined that the fire originated in a laser cutter,” she said. “They have an engineer that will be following up with the manufacturer. It was definitely unintentional, but caused $1.5 million in damage.”

The early-morning blaze in the college's tourism and hospitality department led to the cancellation of classes all day, but college communications manager Cheryn Thoun said students can head back to class Thursday.

“The college will open tomorrow and classes will resume,” said Thoun. “All buildings are cleared, with the exception of 'E' Building, which will remain closed. Classes normally in 'E' Building are being moved to other locations, where possible.”

Twenty-two Barrie firefighters and eight trucks responded to alarms at the north-end campus around 4 a.m.

There were no injuries, but firefighters exhausted all of their air bottles while at the Georgian Drive scene. 

The fire was contained to a small office and classroom, but crews had to ventilate after smoke entered several adjoining buildings. 




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Shawn Gibson

About the Author: Shawn Gibson

Shawn Gibson is a staff writer based on Barrie
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