USD officials release campus fire details

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Officials from The University of South Dakota are releasing details of the fire this week that damaged a third floor room in Pardee Laboratory.

Shortly before 8 a.m. on Wednesday, the Department of Public Safety at USD notified the City of Vermillion Fire Department (VFD) and Clay County Emergency Services of a potential fire after an employee reported smelling smoke. After the building was evacuated and emergency services responded, a small fire in the southeast corner of the third floor was extinguished. Most of the damage, which was limited to the third floor, was due to large quantities of smoke along with water from extinguishing the fire.  Details from the South Dakota State Marshall Office’s investigation have determined that the fire was accidental; however, the exact cause of the fire has not been released by the state fire marshal. Additional information is expected to be available next week at the earliest. In the meantime, Pardee Laboratory has been locked, sealed and closed until further notice as cleanup of the facility has begun. Classes in the building have also been reassigned.