UNC campus building damaged in fire

CHAPEL HILL Assistant Fire Marshal Tommy Gregory says the Chapel Hill Fire Department responded to an automatic fire alarm at Gerrard Hall on E Cameron Ave. around 3:15 a.m. Saturday.

Fire crew entered the building and determined there was a fire inside and the sprinkler system had activated.

The fire had been partially extinguished by the sprinkler system. Crews finished extinguishing the fire and started salvage and overhaul operations. The fire was contained to the area of origin.

The building did receive smoke and water damage to the first floor. Crews removed the water and UNC maintenance arrived on scene and started clean up and restoring the fire alarm system and sprinkler system.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation with UNC police. The estimate of damage is $50,000.

According to UNC's Web site, Gerrard Hall was completed in 1837. The Gerrard Society is the name of the recognition group for donors of deferred gifts such as bequests, charitable remainder trusts and gift annuities.

The building continued to be used as a chapel through the 1800s. It was condemned in 1935, and then remodeled in 1938 with a grant obtained from the U.S. government. The small auditorium has hosted a variety of speakers and events.

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