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Fire at Hammons Student Center Damages East Court

A fire at Hammons Student Center on the Missouri State University campus damaged a portion of one of the gyms yesterday. KSMU's Christy Hendricks reports.

A fire ignited by construction work inside the Hammons Students Center on the Missouri State Campus left a section of the East Court charred yesterday.

No injuries were reported.

Sparks from a construction worker's grinder caught wooden storage cabinets on fire about 4:30 yesterday afternoon.

Frank Pichler works in maintenance at the student center.

He says he came up to the East Court after the fire alarms went off and tried to help extinguish the fire.

Pichler says the flames from the fire extended 8 to 10 feet from the ground to the top of concrete of the bleachers.

Frank Pichler says sparks from some metal a construction worker was grinding flew inside the cabinets and ignited sports gear on fire.

The Springfield Fire Department responded to a call made at 4:40 and quickly got the fire under control.

University President Michael Nietzel says he made a brief walk through and that there's fire, water, and smoke damage.

No estimate of how much damage is available yet.

This was the second day for renovation work for a basketball practice court in the East Gym.