Quinn attachment burns: Fire department investigates non-criminal incident


JoshuOne Barnes

A worker cleans up after a fire damaged Tauzer Gym on the Santa Rosa Junior College campus in Santa Rosa, Calif. on the morning of Sept. 14 2015

Gideon Halpin, Staff Writer

A fire destroyed the majority of an engine-housing building attached to the west side of Quinn Swim Center early in the morning of Sept. 14 on the Santa Rosa Campus, according to a Santa Rosa Fire Department official.

The fire triggered an alarm at 2:13 a.m. and responders arrived within six minutes. The building housed a cogeneration system, which provided electricity for the swim center’s heating and cooling systems, according to SRFD Battalion Chief Mark Basque.

Firefighters contained the blaze to the small one-level building, preventing it from spreading to the locker room and pool area of the swim center.  The fire, which firefighters controlled within 30 minutes, caused at least $500,000 worth of damage. Authorities reported no casualties.

All buildings and offices in Quinn Center remained closed for the week with only SRJC aquatic sports teams allowed use of the outside pool, said Valarie Garcia, kinesiology, athletics and dance administrative assistant.

Paul Bielen, director of facility operations, said the fire not only affected Quinn Center, but left Barnett, Bailey, Tauzer and Maggini without heating or air conditioning. Officials installed new A/C units Sept. 25, but the units won’t be operational for another week.  The heating system is to follow and is projected to be functional the week after. 

“The fire wasn’t deliberately started,” said Doug Kuula, manager of environmental health and safety.

The fire department is currently investigating the cause of the fire.