A fire on the roof of the Trani Life Science Building on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University closed the building and West Cary Street for much of Wednesday.
No injuries were reported, the university said. The blaze appeared to be contained to the roof, but VCU officials are assessing water damage on the second and third floors, according to the school.
Richmond firefighters responded just before 10:45 a.m. Wednesday as flames and smoke billowed from the roof. The fire was marked under control around 11:30 a.m.
Puffs of black and gray smoke were visible from downtown Richmond and throughout the campus.
The building at 1000 W. Cary St. and those surrounding it were initially evacuated, according to an alert sent by the university asking people to avoid the area. Richmond police also responded to help with traffic and crowd control, blocking off Cary Street for several blocks.
Students and staff were allowed back into the surrounding buildings after the fire was under control, but the Life Science Building is expected to remain closed for several days. About a dozen classes scheduled to meet in the building Wednesday were relocated.