U. of Northern Iowa Investigates Fires as Arson

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) - Firefighters battled three fires on the University of Northern Iowa campus early Sunday, hours after students celebrated homecoming.

The fires appeared to be intentionally set, officials said.

The fires were in a building that houses the university's police department and central administration, another that was being used as an emergency command center for homecoming night activities and a third that was unoccupied.

No arrests had been made as of Sunday, said James O'Conner, a university spokesman.

No one was injured.

O'Conner said all the fires appeared to have been started by paper that was ignited in lower-level offices or classrooms.

The state fire marshal's office was investigating.

Police and firefighters working out of Lang Hall first noticed the fire in that building when they smelled smoke, Fire Chief Steve Mitchell said.

About the same time, firefighters responded to a fire alarm at Baker Hall.

A passerby had noticed the Baker Hall fire and went inside to extinguish it, officials said.

"It was very fortunate they came, and he probably saved the building," said Lt. Doug Widen with UNI Department of Public Safety.

The third fire was discovered shortly after 1 a.m. in Gilchrist Hall, university officials said.

Windows in at least two of the buildings were broken. Damage was undetermined.

Information from: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, www.wcfcourier.com