Investigators believe lightning strike caused music building fire at the University of Alabama

Updated: Apr. 20, 2020 at 5:09 PM CDT
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - The Alabama State Fire Marshal’s office believes the fire that burned at the Moody Music Building on the University of Alabama campus Sunday was accidental.

According to Jennifer Bowen, the department’s public information officer: “All indications this is an accidental fire related to weather." She replied “yes” when asked if they thought it was due to a lightning strike.

Tuscaloosa firefighters arrived on the scene soon after a fire alarm inside the Moody Music Building sounded around 4:15 p.m. Sunday.

Niamh McNaughton was there too, under an umbrella and upset by what she saw. “It makes me really sad cause I’ve take lessons here. I’ve had performances here and I know a lot of people who work here. So it’s really sad,” McNaughton said Sunday.

Work there Monday now involves cleaning up and checking items saved from the fire.

Doctor Ken Ozello, UA Director of Bands, said the University of Alabama Million Dollar Band used the part of the building that was damaged. “We waited so long for that facility, Very, very disheartening to see that’s where most of the damage was occurring.”

The fire was contained to the roof. It did not get into other parts of the structure, according to Tuscaloosa Fire & Rescue, but there is smoke and water damage.

McNaughton is hopeful the damage caused by that fire can be repaired quickly. “Me and my friends in the choir, we’ve had a lot of choir performances here. And I know a lot of people who work here, so it’s really sad,” McNaughton continued.

It’s unclear how long repairs could take to complete.

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