Oxford Fire Department responds to Saturday fire at Yerby Center

Posted on Oct 31 2017 - 8:03am by Maddie McGee

On Saturday night, Oxford Fire Department was alerted of a fire at the E.F. Yerby Conference Center, located on campus at the corner of Grove Loop and University Avenue.

“When the call came in, it came in as a grass fire at 689 Grove Loop,” Oxford Fire Chief Mark Heath said. “When we got there, we found the fire had extended to the building.”

Heath said nine firefighters, two trucks and a battalion chief were sent to the scene. The call came in at around 9:52 p.m., and OFD arrived on scene five minutes later.

Heath also said the building suffered extensive damage during the fire.

“Our conservative estimate is basically $20,000 for the damages to the building and an additional $10,000 for the contents inside,” he said.

The Yerby Center hosts workshops and conferences throughout the year, and it is a part of the Division of Outreach and Continuing Education.

Heath said the investigation had been turned over to the state fire marshal, who will determine the cause of the fire.

“Because it was a campus fire, it is in the enclave of state control,” he said. “While we have the fire response duty, the state handles the investigation.”

The state fire marshal’s office could not be reached for comment at this time.