Fire at University of Chicago Philosophy Department


This past Sunday, a fire broke out in Stuart Hall at the University of Chicago, home to the school’s Department of Philosophy. No one was injured.

While information is at the time a bit tentative, current reports are that a shredder motor overheated, starting a fire which moved down the Department of Philosophy’s hallway. No foul play is suspected. I am told that only the hallway burned, but there is soot over everything in many of the offices and the doors were broken down by the fire department during its response to the fire. No members of the department have yet to be allowed back on the floor, the offices are currently unusable, and the new quarter starts next week. It is unclear when the offices will be accessible, but it may be at least a month. In the meanwhile, no one can get anything out of their offices, leaving members of the department without access to any books, papers, and equipment in them.

The Chicago Fire Department tweeted photos of the building after the fire. Here is the exterior of Stuart Hall:

Stuart Hall Chicago fire

Here are two shots of the Philosophy Department’s hallway that give a sense of how burned it is:

Stuart Hall Chicago fire interior 1

Stuart Hall Chicago fire interior 2

I would like to thank Michael Kremer for providing information about the fire. I’ll update this post with further information as it becomes available. If you have information, feel free to share it in the comments or email it me.

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