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Crews Clean Up After Fire Damages Hammons Student Center

Crews work to clean up Hammons Student Center after a fire damaged part of the East Gym Tuesday afternoon. KSMU's Christy Hendricks reports.

Crews continue work to clean up a mess of fire, smoke and water damage after construction work ignited a fire in Hammons Student Center on the Missouri State campus Tuesday afternoon.

Sparks from a construction worker's grinder fell inside some wooden cabinets in the East Court and caught women's sports gear on fire.

Everyone in the center was evacuated safely and the Springfield Fire Department quickly got the fire under control.

Randy Blackwood is the executive director of Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts, Hammons Student Center, and Plaster Sports Complex.

He says the estimated cost of damage ranges from half a million to one million dollars and that crews could work through the weekend to finish the clean-up.

Blackwood says the fire mainly ruined women's basketball and softball gear and that damage in the East Court is minimal.

Hammons Student Center resumed regular operating hours yesterday.

Randy Blackwood says the fire will have no effect on students or events in the facility because the East Court was already blocked off for renovation work.

The center will host a volleyball tournament this weekend, but Blackwood says fans shouldn't see any signs of a fire.

Since the fire was started by a construction worker, the contractor's insurance will pay for the damages.