Room damaged in summer fire at Saddleback College to remain closed until 2014

Michael Grennell

According to an email from Saddleback College Director of Public Information and Marketing Jennie McCue, the room in the Business and General Studies building, damaged by fire over the summer, will tentatively remain closed until fall 2014.

BGS Room 356 has been closed for repairs since early July, when 21-year-old student Jacob Mathews died in an early morning fire that caused an estimated $400,000 of structural and content damage. The Orange County Coroner Division later ruled Mathews’ death as a suicide.

The fire burned for close to an hour, with most of the damage being contained in room 356. The first call was sent to the Orange County Fire Authority 20 minutes before a psychology class was to take place in the room. Saddleback College later confirmed that Mathews had been a student in the class.

Classes that took place in the BGS building were canceled for the rest of the day. The first floor reopened the next day, and the entire BGS building except for room 356 reopened for business by July 22.

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