Fire crews put out Discovery Park wildfire

Fire crews put out Discovery Park wildfire

Fire crews put out Discovery Park wildfire
February 21
12:28 2014

Javier Navarro // Staff Writer

At about 3 p.m. a wildfire broke out near Discovery Park, prompting several fire trucks from Denton, Sanger and Krum to respond to the scene. Students and faculty were told to evacuate the building and then off the property when alarms were set off.

“We were coming back from another call when we saw the smoke and responded to it,” Cort Higgins, Denton Fire Department battalion chief, said.

Firefighters took about an hour and a half to control the fire as they put out “hot spots” at about 4 p.m. to prevent further spread. Higgins said the cause of the fire is not yet known.

The wildfire came within 50 feet of the Discovery Park building and spread to a few acres around it, news promotion manager Buddy Price said.

“Due to the high winds, [the fire] moved really fast and got big very fast,” Price said. “Fortunately when the fire alarms go off, the building’s air conditioners shut down but before they shut down some smoke was sucked in. The building was fine when I went in there.”

Saunders said although everybody evacuated the building in a timely manner, there was a small traffic jam near the exit of the property that lasted for several minutes.

Electrical engineering senior Andrew Saunders was sitting in the UNT Discovery Park building with friends when he heard alarms going off and saw black smoke behind the building.

“We’ve had false alarms a year or two ago and that’s what I thought was going on at first,” Saunders said. “We actually walked out to the halls and smelled the smoke, and everybody was like ‘Oh man, we need to get out of here.’”

The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for Denton County until 6 p.m.. Today’s wind gusts were up to 23 mph, according to the National Weather Service.

Discovery Park reopened and classes resumed at 5 p.m.

There were no reported damages to the building or injuries, according to Price.

Feature photo: The remnants of the wildfire after fire fighters contained the situation near Discovery Park campus on Thursday afternoon. Photo by James Coreas / Staff Photographer

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