Fire in BGS building at Saddleback College injures one

A fire engine responds to a fire that broke out Monday morning at the Business and General Studies building at Saddleback College. One person was airlifted to Western Medical Center suffering from second and third degree burns (Derick Arroyo)

Michael Grennell

A fire broke out on the third floor the Business and General Studies building Monday morning, injuring one student and causing all classes held in the BGS building to be canceled for the day.

According to Captain Jon Muir from the Orange County Fire Authority Public Information Office, the OCFA received a call about a fire at Saddleback College at 6:39 a.m., and responding units found a fire on the third floor of the BGS building. Muir said that the fire was under control by 7:18 a.m., and was declared out at 7:25 a.m. Muir also confirmed that there were no classes in progress at the time of the fire.

Muir said that there was one victim found in the building, described as a 21-year-old male student suffering from second and third degree burns. He was originally transported to the Trauma Center at Mission Hospital, but he has since been airlifted to the Orange County Burn Center at Western Medical Center in Santa Ana. His condition is listed as “serious” as of 4:30 p.m. according to Muir.

At about 3:30 p.m., South Orange County Community College District Board of Trustees member Tim Jemal took to his Twitter account to express his condolences about the injured student, writing, “Hoping and praying our injured student recovers quickly after this morning’s fire at Saddleback College.”

The cause of the fire is still undetermined according to Muir. He said that investigators from the OCFA are on scene working with campus officials and police, as well as the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. The scale of the damage done to the building is not yet known, but Muir said that the fire was contained to the third floor.

A text alert was sent out by Saddleback College at 8:18 a.m. informing students of the cancellation. The alert read, “Classes closed in BGS building today due to fire that occurred early today. Fire dept. has responded. Check saddleback.edu for updates.”

At 12:20 p.m. Saddleback College posted on its Facebook page that the BGS Building will be closed indefinitely for, “clean up and to restore air quality to a safe level.” According to the post, Summer semester classes that were being held in the BGS building will be moved to other, as of yet unidentified, locations. The new class locations will be posted on the Saddleback College website and here as they become available.

At about 4:40 p.m., Saddleback College put out another announcement on its Facebook page, saying that classes on the first floor of the BGS building will resume on Tuesday, July 9. “Access will be granted only at the first floor entrance facing parking lots 9 and 10,” the post reads. “Classes on the second and third floors of BGS are being relocated and will be posted on www.saddleback.edu as soon as the information is available.”

(Savannah Moreau / Twitter (@savannahmoreau))

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