Guest / Limited Access /

Westmont College professors and students began sifting through the ashes yesterday as some coped with the loss of their homes and departments.

Classes were canceled until December 1 to give the campus time to recover from the November 13 fire that destroyed 20 percent of its buildings but injured no one. The fire destroyed three academic buildings, more than 30 dorm rooms, and 14 of the 41 college-owned faculty houses at the Christian liberal arts college in Santa Barbara, California.

Two married professors who were teaching a study-abroad program in Europe found out that their home had been destroyed by watching a CNN news feed. One psychology professor was only able to save the rats he was using for neuropsychology research after losing both his home and his department.

"This is clearly the most devastating natural disaster we've had on campus," college spokesman Scott Craig said. "Right now they're just finding pieces of pottery before giving up altogether and trying to move on."

Freshman Stacey Torigoe was on her way to saxophone quartet rehearsal when she and 800 other students were ushered into the gym to spend the night.

"We could see the flames in the trees and there were sparks all over the place," Torigoe said. "I was just in shock most of the night."

Because her dorm was damaged, Torigoe was only able to save her saxophone and her cell phone, but she decided, "Life goes on, even without stuff."

Although several professors lost academic work, the fire did not create a complete loss. Three buildings that were destroyed by the fire were slated to be demolished later as part of the college's earlier plan to build new buildings.

The college has not built a structure on its campus since 1970, but it broke ground last month ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedDied: Christopher Mitchell, Top Lewis Scholar, Biola Professor
Died: Christopher Mitchell, Top Lewis Scholar, Biola Professor
Director of Wade Center at Wheaton College for 19 years.
TrendingIntroducing the Bible! Now with Less!
Introducing the Bible! Now with Less!
Delete the chapter and verse numbers. Kill all the notes. Make it one column. Make a million bucks.
Editor's PickThe Hidden Blessing of Infertility
The Hidden Blessing of Infertility
Our inability to have kids turned into an ability to do so much else.
Comments
Christianity Today
Sorting through the Rubble
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

November 2008

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.