Faulty electrical wiring was believed to be the cause of a fire at the International ALERT Academy in Big Sandy on Friday, an academy official said.
The ALERT Academy crew along with the Big Sandy and Gilmer fire departments responded to the fire, which started before 5 p.m.
Col. John Tanner with the academy said the fire started at the front end of the convention center above the bathrooms. Flames and smoke were visible.
Tanner said people were working in the convention center getting ready for a conference next week, but everyone was able to get out of the building.
Tanner said the fire and much of the damage it caused was contained to the area just above the bathroom, which is about 2,000 square feet.
He said the academy is working with the Upshur County Fire Marshal’s Office to get the facility ready for operation.
“It wasn’t a big fire,” Tanner said. “They got it knocked down. It was getting close to getting out of control, but they were able to catch it in time.”
The International ALERT Academy is a Christian training and service organization that offers several programs, camps and conferences, according to its website.
The goal is to prepare generations to be followers of Christ and the academy seeks to equip individuals with tools to better prepare them for the specific call God has placed on each of their lives, according to the website.