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FDNY Probes Cause Of Intense Fire At Pratt Institute

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TWC News: FDNY Probes Cause Of Intense Fire At Pratt Institute
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Fire marshals are working to determine what caused an early morning fire at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.

Flames broke out around 2 a.m. in a six-story building located at 200 Willoughby Avenue in Clinton Hill.

The school says the fire gutted the top floor of the 126-year-old building and badly damaged the fifth floor.


"It was a very old building, very high ceilings on the top floor, 15-foot ceilings. There was a lot of overhauling involved. We had a partial roof collapse on the top floor. We also asked the fire marshals to respond and investigate because of the heavy fire on arrival," said FDNY Chief James Esposito.

Students say the building houses computer labs, and art studios.

Water damage is also said to be extensive throughout the building.

The fire destroyed a lot of artwork and art supplies at the school, which is considered to be one of the top art colleges in the country.

"I woke up to people screaming in surprise outside, so then we went out to look in flames. We all came down here. People in the fine arts department are painting majors. You could just see the shock and tears and more than that people were concerned if there were still people up there," said one student.

"I just bought like $500 worth of art supplies yesterday so if that all gets destroyed, you're losing...I mean, that's a lot of money, especially for an art student," said another student.

FDNY investigators are looking into the possibility the fire might not have been an accident, noting no one was inside at the time.

Pratt officials would not comment on the 24-7 access, or whether students would receive any credit for work that was destroyed.

Classes have been cancelled in the main building and the adjoining South Hall Friday and Saturday.

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