At 4:15 p.m. the Ellisville Fire Department and Ellisville volunteer firefighters were called to the campus and volunteer fire departments throughout the county were called to their stations to standby.
According to Ellisville Fire Chief Ronnie McGillberry, the main electrical entry point to the building was on fire and arcing. Mississippi Power Company was called to the scene to shut off the power going to the building and once the power was shut off firefighters made entry into the power supply room on the opposite side of the wall from the burning electrical entry point where the main breaker to the building was on fire, sending heavy smoke throughout the building and the fire was quickly extinguished. Concerned that the fire could have spread along the ceiling of the building, volunteer firefighters from South Jones, Union, Moselle and Pleasant Ridge were requested to report to the scene for additional manpower.
After a thorough investigation, it was determined that the fire had not spread any further than the power supply room. The C.L. Neill Student Center houses the cafeteria, bookstore and several offices.
A release sent from Marlo Dorsey, JCJC Vice President of Marketing, stated, “The College is in the process of securing generators with the intent of having power restored within the next few days. Information regarding any possible delays in the bookstore will be made available no later than Monday, August 13. The cafeteria is closed to the public until at least Wednesday, August 15.”