Fire officials cite lightning as cause of fire at Loras College

Fire officials are citing a lightning strike as the cause of a fire early Wednesday morning that displaced 45 students and staff at its Visitation Hall at the corner of Alta Vista Street and University Avenue in Dubuque.

“Based on the location of the fire and the fact there was a plethora of lightning in the area, in the (Dubuque) Fire Department’s opinion, the most likely cause was a lightning strike,” said John McDermott, assistant vice president for physical resources. “They can also narrow down where the lighting strikes took place.”

The college’s insurance carrier is also treating the incident as a lightning strike, he said.

There were no reported injuries in the fire.

Evaluation of the first floor of Visitation Hall’s South Building is complete and open for classes. Following a walk through on Thursday, the building’s utilities and safety features were restored.

Meanwhile, evaluation continues at the North Building where the damage was more significant. The college has had preliminary meetings with its insurance advisor, but a firm dollar amount of the loss has not yet been set.

Individuals can donate to the College’s Visitation Fire Fund at or at any American Trust office in Dubuque, Dyersville, Farley and West Des Moines. Checks must be payable to the Loras Visitation Fund.

Contacts: Sue Hafkemeyer, Director of Communication
563.588.7769 Office | 563.590.3999 Cell |

Thomas Jensen, Public Relations and Social Media Manager
563.588.7179 Office | 919.930.1997 Cell |



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