Sidney Lanier Center damaged in afternoon fire

Press release from Gainesville Fire Rescue

At 3:49 p.m. today, Gainesville Fire Rescue’s (GFR) crews were notified of a fire at the Sidney Lanier Center, 312 NW 16th Ave. The first crews were on scene in four minutes and found heavy smoke coming from the eaves and the roof of the building.

Incident Commander Don Campbell said, “The fire was made more complex by the presence of a double ceiling in the building of origin. This concealed the smoke, allowing the fire to grow before being noticed.” GFR’s crews were able to quickly ventilate the roof above the fire, which stopped the spread and held the fire in place until fire attack crews could fully extinguish the fire. 

The Sidney Lanier Center offers continuous educational programs for students ranging from kindergarten through transition at age 22, the only public school in the district with this grade configuration. 

GFR had ten fire apparatuses assigned to the call. No one was injured in the fire. The exact cause of the fire is under investigation.