Fire causes about $500,000 of damage to SUNY Cortland building

Fire crews responded to a fire at SUNY Cortland Monday morning that caused hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damage to one of the oldest buildings on campus.

The fire alarm was at the Old Main Building on Gerhardt Drive. Cortland Fire Department crews entered the building and headed to the third floor, where smoke could be seen.

At that time, a second alarm was struck and additional support arrived from Cortlandville and Homer. The fire was difficult to access due to construction and mechanical equipment. The fire was located under the roof in the back of the building near the eves.

A sprinkler knocked down the body of the fire, but firefighters still had to fully extinguish it. The fire burned a hole through part of the roof. Fire crews said it took about 30 minutes to control the fire.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but fire investigators say they believe a malfunctioning de-icer unit near the roof line is to blame.

No injuries were reported. The exact cost of the damage is unknown, but estimates say it could exceed $500,000.