Students react to large Tuskegee Univ. fire

TUSKEGEE, AL (WSFA) - "I was at the apartments a little bit down the road and I saw smoke rising. So me and my friends were like what's going on?"

One Tuskegee University junior just happened to be nearby when the fire at Tuskegee University's West Commons started.

"This is when we were arriving...across the street from the vet school."

He managed to take some pictures on his phone--all the while wondering how this could be happening.

"Building C is destroyed."

"I was thinking how did it happen, and who was in there?" says Gabrielle Henderson, a student visiting from Barbour county.

While she and others believe lightning struck the dorm, authorities haven't confirmed how the fire started.

"The fire was going on for about 45 minutes to an hour. The fire department did do a good job of containing the fire and not letting it go to building B and building A of the West Commons," says one student.

Tuskegee Mayor Omar Neal says eight fire departments helped control the blaze.

Tuskegee University police wouldn't let our crews on campus because it is private property.

While authorities say no one was's good news for all the bystanders.

"Everybody's ok."

"I do know somebody, but thank God no one was in there. They had just dropped their stuff off."

Authorities say three people were living in the building taking summer classes. They were not inside when the fire broke out. University officials say they are trying to find housing for those students.

Tuskegee Mayor Omar Neal cannot confirm yet if the building is a total loss.

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