Lightning ruled cause of Hood College fire

·1 min read

Sep. 15—Lightning is officially to blame for the fire that broke out at the oldest building on Hood College's campus last week, according to the fire department.

The Frederick County Division of Fire and Rescue Services announced Wednesday that officials determined lightning was the cause of the Sept. 9 fire at Brodbeck Music Hall. Lt. Eddie Ruch led the investigation.

Roughly 75 firefighters responded to the blaze that started just before 2 a.m., with Junior Fire Company serving as the primary responding agency, according to a DFRS news release. Firefighters saw flames coming from the cupola/roof of the three-story brick building, constructed in 1868. The building was unoccupied and there were no injuries to firefighters or civilians, DFRS said. First responders got the fire under control in about 45 minutes.

Firefighters salvaged instruments from the structure, and Hood College President Andrea Chapdelaine last week expressed hope that the building can be fully restored.

Anyone with information that may assist in the fire marshal's investigation is asked to contact 301-600-1479 or email

Follow Mary Grace Keller on Twitter: @MaryGraceKeller

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