August 30, 2008

Fire Damages Oregon Capitol

The offices of Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski sustained smoke and water damage in a fire that hit the state Capitol early Saturday.

The fire was reported about 12:30 a.m. by Willamette University students who saw flames in the building, The (Portland) Oregonian reported. Firefighters had the blaze contained within 30 minutes, Salem Deputy Fire Marshal Laird Case said.

The cause of the fire, which apparently started in a part of the second floor where renovations are under way, had not been determined.

Anna Richter Taylor, a spokeswoman for the governor, said that staffers should be able to work normally Tuesday after the three-day Labor Day weekend.

State Senate Presidemt Peter Courtney, a Democrat from Salem, viewed the damage.

"It's heartbreaking, but I'm very thankful nobody was hurt," Courtney said. "Things had been going pretty good for the Capitol. We were doing some work to really get the old girl fixed up and now this happens. But Oregon has bounced back from fires at our Capitol twice before and we will fix her up again and restore her to her full glory."