After a fire damaged Hale Library at Kansas State University, President Richard Myers gave credit to the K-State family, the community and the University of Kansas.
Yes, you read that correctly: KU has been helping out rival K-State.
"There are countless teams working to bring us back to full operational status," Myers wrote in a Friday letter. "Our friends at the University of Kansas have been especially helpful with data recovery."
Fire broke out on the roof of K-State's main library Tuesday afternoon. The library houses the university's information technology services, and email and online student and employee systems went down after the fire.
That's when KU stepped in to help with data recovery.
Internet connectivity was restored to all but one university building by Thursday afternoon, as were the various online services. But K-State updates show the library remains closed with no timeline for reopening.
Investigators determined roof work accidentally caused the fire, the Manhattan Fire Department previously said. A structural engineer and insurance adjustors have visited the library, but the university is still evaluating the extent of the damage.
University officials released photos taken on Thursday showing some of the damage inside the library. They show damage to the ceiling and walls and several inches of water pooled on the floor of the "Great Room."
The library's carpeted first floor still had pooled water two days after the fire was extinguished. Broken ceiling tiles littered the floor and tables.
"Our land-grant ethos requires that we take setbacks in stride and continue to strive for growth and progress," Myers said. "The fire in Hale Library brought out the best in our family and community. "
"Together, they saved our library, the heart and soul of our university. Academics, student life, research and social interaction all converge in the heart of campus. Thank you to those who responded to save our historical building and its priceless contents."
This was not the first fire to ravage a major K-State building, university records show.
The 1968 fire in the castle-like Nichols Hall, believed to be set by an arsonist protesting the Vietnam War, destroyed radio station equipment, sheet music, instruments and recordings of famous speakers in the university’s Landon Lectures series. The sole survivor of the fire was a piece of music: "The Wabash Cannonball."
The song has since become a second, unofficial fight song for the marching band.
In 1934, a fire destroyed Denison Hall. The building and its equipment were uninsured because the state did not permit its institutions to carry fire insurance. Burt Hall was remodeled after a 1946 fire.
Anderson Hall, which is on the national historic register, sustained $1.25 million in fire and water damage after lightning struck the south tower in 1993.
Earlier this year, the sprinkler system put out an overnight fire caused by a faulty fan at Wefald Hall, the university's year-old dormitory.