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Pratt fire caused by faulty electrical wiring, investigators say

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It was a sad brushstroke of fate.

Pratt Institute’s classes have resumed after a four-alarm fire devastated its main campus building early Feb. 15, destroying student art work, collapsing a section of the roof, and causing water damage throughout the landmark structure.

The fire was an accident, fire marshals said, caused by electrical wiring on the top floor of the 126-year-old Willoughby Avenue building, located between Emerson Place and Hall Street.

The flames erupted at 2:15 am, blazing for two hours before the fire department brought it under control. There were no injuries.

“The six-story building’s roof and its sixth floor were gutted,” the institute said in a statement.

The fifth floor was also badly damaged by the flames, it said. Pratt relocated all classes and offices formerly inside the main building by Feb. 19.

Reach reporter Jaime Lutz at jlutz@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow her on Twitter @jaime_lutz.

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Reader Feedback

JAY from NYC says:
This is the kind of thing that a proper building inspection would have caught. Its a building that is part of a school, I hate to state the obvious, but where in the hell is the building inspectors? Cranes collapse, buildings collapse and schools catch on fire all because the building inspectors are not getting it done. I hope that someone goes back and looks at the records and see who singed off on the wiring and then that person get prosecuted.
Feb. 22, 2013, 8:29 pm
Jake from Clinton Hill says:
Perhaps. Although it seems likely that this old building may not have had its wiring inspected for decades. It isn't new construction.
Feb. 24, 2013, 2:14 pm

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