A building that houses the Marion County Public Schools Technical Services Department caught fire shortly before 8 p.m. Saturday night.
According to Ocala Fire Rescue, units consisting of Engines 1, 3, 4 and 7, Rescue 3, Tower 1, Squad 7, Battalion Chief 11 and a security officer were dispatched to the area of SW 10th Street and SW 7th Road in 7:53 p.m. due to reports of a fire near the Marion Technical College.
A column of black smoke was visible as units moved towards the scene of the fire. At 7:54 p.m., firefighters arrived at 1101 SW 7th Road and observed that the MCPS Technical Services Department building was on fire.
Members of the OFR team breached the outer fence to gain access to the property where the smoke-covered building was located.
There was no visibility in the surroundings when firefighters entered the unoccupied building. Firefighters fought their way through the interior of the building in search of the fire, and the “seed of the fire” was located in the rear center of the building.
Firefighters attacked the flames and managed to contain the fire to the area of origin. Shortly before 8:30 p.m., the incident was brought under control.
The cause of the fire is unknown.
Engine 10, Ladder 2, and District 1 from Marion County Fire Rescue assisted with fire operations, and ALS 1 from MCFR was on standby. The Ocala Police Department also responded.
According to MCPS, about 16 employees work inside the building. Employees were not in the building at the time of the fire and no one was injured.
Employees will be relocated until necessary repairs are completed. No property damage estimate is available at this time.