Fire damaged Morris Brown College offices, president says

A weekend fire damaged Morris Brown College’s administrative offices, its interim president said.

Atlanta Fire Rescue Department officials got a call about a structure fire on the campus at about 6:15 a.m. Saturday, according to an incident report the department gave The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Monday. Firefighters found a small trash fire that reached the president’s desk. The sprinkler system put out the fire, the report said. The cause of the fire was not determined and is under investigation, said Atlanta Fire Rescue Sgt. Cortez Stafford.

Kevin E. James, the college’s interim president, shared a photo on social media showing a charred chair, desk and burned papers strewn across the office. James said in a video posted later Saturday that the water damage destroyed his office and other parts of the administration building were flooded. He asked alumni to donate.

“We need to raise $100,000 to get the water out of our building,” James, who said he was in Florida meeting with alumni, said in the video.

James could not be immediately reached for comment.


The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools revoked Morris Brown's accreditation in 2002 after ballooning debt. Because Morris Brown is not accredited, students are not able to receive federal loans. James said in March the college had 42 students.

James began a fundraising campaign in March as part of an effort to regain its accreditation, which it is pursuing through the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools. James said the college raised $85,000 since March 1 and set a goal of raising $5 million in six months.

Morris Brown, founded in 1881, was the first historically black college and university in Georgia founded by African Americans.