College building fire accidental, cause may be electrical

May 1, 2019

BENNINGTON, Vt. (AP) — Investigators say a building fire at Bennington College was accidental and may have been caused by electrical issues.

The fire on Tuesday forced the evacuation of a two-story building called “the Barn.” One firefighter was injured. Damage was estimated at $250,000.

Vermont fire investigators said a contractor doing work on the outside of the building alerted staff to the fire. It originated on the interior of the walls on one side and extended through the balloon-frame construction and into an attic/crawl space.

Investigators said staff had reported flickering lights and “a humming or bee hive like” sound coming from the exterior wall Tuesday.

Investigators noted the general state of the wiring in the building and ongoing contractor work as potential causes.

Bennington College is a small private liberal arts college near the New York border.