Emily Carr University delays reopening until after Thanksgiving as fire cleanup continues

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      Unfortunately, Emily Carr University of Art + Design (ECU) students will have to wait until after the Thanksgiving long weekend to return to classes.  

      After the postsecondary art institution shut down this week after a suspected break-in and fire took place on Saturday, the reopening of the campus has been delayed as clean-up of damaged areas continues.

      On the morning of October 5, a small fire developed at the Emily Carr University campus, located at 520 East 1st Avenue. Although the fire was extinguished, there is some water and fire damage from the fire and sprinkler system, according to an ECUAD news release. No one was hurt.

      The most affected areas are the Research and Industry Office and the painting and drawing studios on the fourth level. Other areas of the building also have some water damage.

      According to an ECU statement, “very few personal effects or artworks were affected”.

      Thus far, all standing water has been removed, air quality has been tested, fire sprinkler heads have been replaced, and electrical, fire safety, and security systems have been tested to ensure they are fully functioning.

      However, the classrooms and shops that sustained the most damage aren’t yet safe to use and are still being restored.

      Officials had previously announced that the campus would remain closed on October 7 and 8, but the closure has since been extended.

      According to ECU, most areas will be open when classes resume on Tuesday (October 15).

      Some classes may be temporarily relocated, and classes missed this past week will be rescheduled at the end of the semester (December 4 to 17).

      The Vancouver Police Department (VPD) is investigating the incident and believe that the fire was deliberately set by a person who broke into a university building.

      Anyone with information relevant to the investigation is asked to contact the VPD or Crime Stoppers.

      Earlier this year, deliberately set fires temporarily shut down Langara College.

      On April 1, Langara College evacuated its West 49th Avenue campus after a suspect was seen setting fires in the school’s Science and Technology Building. Police later arrested 23-year-old student Nasradin Abdusamad Ali of Surrey. The Science and Technology Building reopened in May.