Blaze on Pearl

A different kind of smoke rose from Pearl Street this Monday night. Fire officials are investigating the cause of a fire that burned a downtown office building. The building, located at 247 Pearl Street, housed three dental practices and was unoccupied at the time of the fire, according to police officials. Police responded to the blaze at 8:30 p.m. and found smoke pouring out from the building into the street, Burlington Fire Marshall Terry Francis told the Burlington Free Press. North Winooski Avenue to North Willard Street was closed overnight as firefighters worked to battle the blaze, according to police officials. Some students said they could smell the smoke from the fire as far as campus. “My apartment smelled like smoke for a while and I live on College Street,” junior Logan Gregoire said. “It was a huge fire.” The building, formerly known as the Benjamin Bailey House, was built in 1820 and contained contents valued at $2,500,000, according to a press release. The expected loss in this incident, including structural and property damage, is estimated to be $3,500,000, according to the Fire Marshall. The remaining structure has been deemed a hazard to public safety and will be demolished. While the fire was not in student housing, students have been reminded that September is Campus Fire Safety month, according to John Marcus, University Fire Marshal. “I am responsible for fire safety in UVM buildings and also do a presentation for students moving off campus,” Marshall said. Students can attend these safety sessions through workshops offered through UVM’s Office of Community and Student Relations, which are held monthly.