Ohio Veterinary Medical Association building burns

Flames destroy more than half of structure

June 1, 2012 (published)
By Jennifer Fiala

Photos courtesy of Jack Advent
The Ohio Veterinary Medical Association caught fire during the early morning hours of June 1. Officials suspect the blaze was caused by a lightning strike or some other electrical problem. The building was empty when it burned; no one was injuried.
Flames and water destroyed more than half of the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA) building early today in Upper Arlington, a suburb of northwest Columbus.

OVMA Executive Director Jack Advent said he got a call at 3:10 a.m. from an alarm company notifying him that someone had entered the building. Minutes later, the fire department called to say they'd just broken through the front door to put out the blaze.

Early signs of a cause point to a lightning strike or some sort of electrical issue, but the investigation is still under way, Advent said in an interview with the VIN News Service. 

Meanwhile, Advent is focused on trying to find a temporary home for the association and its eight employees. He expects to set up shop next week in a nearby hotel meeting room. It's also likely they could relocate to temporary office space near their damaged building.

On the association's Facebook page, the OVMA issued a statement: "Late last night, our building caught fire. Luckily a passer-by noticed it and quickly called the fire department, and none of our staff members was hurt. However, we do not have electric in the office, so you will be unable to reach us via phone or fax. We will have access to email but may not be able to respond right away. Thanks for understanding!"

Advent praised his staff for being helpful while dealing with the destruction.

"I'm not getting stressed; this is just something we're going to have to deal with," he said. 


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