The School of Education building, which incorporates Leazes Road Library, is closed following an accidental electrical fire on Wednesday afternoon.
County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service discovered significant smoke logging on the first floor of the building, as well as smoke issuing from the roof space, after they were alerted to the incident around 3:50pm.
A spokesperson for the service said that three fire appliances were initially deployed, before another was called for additional support by the incident commander.
Four firefighters equipped with breathing apparatus were deployed into the building. They located the fire “very quickly” and contained it, thereby limiting the extent of the damage.
The spokesperson confirmed that there was one adult male who was treated for light smoke inhalation on the scene after he had investigated the fire. There were no further injuries.
After the fire was extinguished, an expert fire safety officer worked with the Head of the School of Education, to discuss the safety of the building following the incident. The fire service left the scene around 6:30pm.
The spokesperson said, “What could have been quite a significant fire was kept contained, and although there is some fire and smoke damage to the immediate area, it is fairly limited and fairly minor in nature.”
The fire service has recorded the incident as an accidental electrical fire, with no evidence of any malice or deliberate action as its cause.
A Durham University spokesperson said: “The health, safety and wellbeing of our staff and students is our top priority.
“A fire in the School of Education on Wednesday 1 June has caused some limited damage and the building to be closed until further notice.
“We are grateful to the County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service for their response.”
Image: Maya Szollosy