Firefighters fight blaze near Cumberland campus

Staff Reports • Updated Sep 3, 2014 at 5:25 PM

Lebanon firefighters and other emergency crews are on the scene battling a three-alarm fire that caused considerable smoke in and around the Cumberland University campus Wednesday morning.

The fire started just before 5:30 a.m. at 135 S. Hatton Ave. at the Baptist Student Union. Flames and heavy smoke could be seen coming out of the building.

The building was evacuated, and the owners of nearby vehicles were notified as firefighters continue to fight to extinguish the blaze. The building was evacuated soon after the fire started.

As of 6:30 a.m., firefighters had most of the building knocked down, but they were still working to extinguish flare-ups.

Lebanon police advised motorists to use caution in the area during morning commutes due to the thick smoke caused from the fire. 

Cumberland President Harvill Eaton said there were no injuries. 

"Fortunately, the students are safe," Eaton said. "Buildings are important, but not as important as lives."

Eaton said classes would not be affected Wednesday. 

He said the building was built sometime in the mid-20th cenutry. 

"It is owned by the Baptist churches that have, thankfully, been steadfast, loyal and generous in their support of Cumberland and their loving ministry to all of our students," Eaton said. 

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