FACTS ABOUT THE FIRE                            

On Tuesday, May 6, 2008, a fire broke out in the Main Building on the OLLU campus at 7:30 p.m. The fire continued until the early morning hours of Wednesday, May 7.

All occupants safely evacuated the building and no one was injured in the fire.

While the fire did cause significant damage to the historic Main Building, the fire was contained to that building. No other building sustained fire damage.

In what was the city’s first four-alarm fire in nine years, more than 100 firefighters from the San Antonio Fire Department battled the stubborn blaze. The San Antonio Police Department and campus police from UTSA, St. Mary’s University and Edgewood Independent School District arrived to assist. 

Read some of the main Facts about the Fire.

Damage from Fire

  • Reports state that the roof, attic and most of the fourth floor suffered significant fire damage. The first, second and third floors sustained substantial water and smoke damage.
  • Moye Hall, adjacent to Main, sustained water damage in its basement.

Cause of Fire

  • After a thorough investigation by forensics experts and the Arson Unit, the cause of the fire was deemed accidental by San Antonio Fire Department officials.
  • Fire Department investigators determined the fire began in the attic of Main and was probably electrical.


  • 115 student residents were relocated to other residence halls (32 from Theresian in Main / 83 from Providence Hall, two buildings north of Main). Students attending summer classes have been allowed to return to Providence Hall, but Theresian remains closed. Housing will be available for those students attending the fall semester.

Facilities in Main Building

  • The fire affected more than 65,000 square feet of classrooms, labs, and offices, including approximately 10,000 square feet on the first floor for the cafeteria and the kitchen as well as 4,300 square feet for Theresian Residence Hall, which housed approximately 35 women students.
  • Main housed 12 classrooms; seven smart classrooms; five computer labs; 20 faculty offices from the Communications Arts, English, History and Political Science departments; 63 staff and administrative offices from the Academic Affairs, LITS (Library, Instruction, Technology Services), Marketing and Communications, Mission and Ministry, Human Resources, Finance, Development, Kliesen International Center and the TRiO/McNair program; 13 student employee offices; four conference rooms; and more than 10 storage and equipment rooms.
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