Canton Fire Department Issues Press Release on Cook Hall Fire – SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy Responds
“I’m relieved the investigation has revealed no indication of an intentional or criminal act, and I applaud all of the agencies involved in the investigation. They have worked diligently and thoroughly to get these answers to us as quickly as possible, and we can’t thank them enough.”
“We are all still anxious for the College to return to normalcy. Currently, we are still awaiting lab results to determine how quickly we will be allowed to re-open the buildings surrounding Cook Hall. We continue to follow the Office of Emergency Management, the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, Office of Fire Prevention and Control, the Department of Health, the Office of General Services, the State University of New York, and the many other agencies that provided experts for the situation. In the mean time, we’ve begun to tentatively schedule some classes in alternate venues with hopes of minimally interrupting the Spring 2012 Semester.”
Canton Fire Department Press Release
LOCATION: SUNY CANTON‐COOK HALL 34 Cornell Drive Canton NY 13617
INCIDENT DATE: FEBRUARY 10 2012
Over the past four days the following agencies participated in a comprehensive investigation into the origin and cause of
the fire on campus in Cook Hall late Friday morning, including the St. Lawrence County Bureau of Fire Investigation, SUNY Canton Police Department, NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Office of Fire Prevention and Control.
- The origin of the fire was determined to be in a Chemistry Prep/Storage room, located on the north end, second floor of
- Cook Hall. This area was used in the preparation of chemistry laboratory student activities of various College programs.
- Through the course of a thorough investigation, investigators were able to determine the following:
- Preliminary reports of an explosion and the presence of individuals in the room at the time of the incident were
- determined to be unfounded.
- Use of smoking materials, utilities, including electricity, heating, air conditioning, and electric appliances in the
- room of origin were eliminated as sources of ignition.
- The fire spread rapidly from the incipient stage to free burning stage which is consistent with a fire which
- originates from a chemical reaction.
- Chemicals and substances stored in this area are known to increase fire intensity.
- At this time the investigation has revealed no indication, that the fire was the result of an intentional or criminal act.
Due to the scope and magnitude of the incident and the presence of hazardous materials on the scene the following agencies provided
assistance and support:
- 10 Fire Departments from St. Lawrence County assisted Village of Canton Fire Department
- St. Lawrence County Hazardous Materials
- Village of Canton Police Department
- Village of Potsdam Police Department
- David E. Sullivan Police Academy
- NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services ‐ Office of Emergency Management
- NYS Department of Health
- NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
- NYS Police Aviation Unit
- NYS Department of Labor
- St. Lawrence County Office of Emergency Management