POLICE have launched an investigation after a blaze broke out at the old Charles Sturt University South Campus, destroying part of the historic site.
Jen O'Ryan lived in the block that was extensively damaged between 2009 and 2010 as an agriculture student.
"I met some life-long friends that I lived with in that particular building for a year," she said.
"We came from a diverse range of degrees and many remain in contact now."
Ms O'Ryan said it was sad to see the news of the fire, but the outcome is probably no different than what was going to happen anyway.
Signature Care chief operating officer Stephen Pollock said they were in the process of applying to demolish the buildings at the time of the fire.
"The building was going to be knocked down anyway," he said. "Would have been better to do it properly rather than have it done as the result of a vicious fire. The building had no value."
Riverina Police District acting Inspector Steven Magnone said police had established a crime scene.
"AT this stage, the investigation is still in its infancy and crime scene [investigators] are still on scene and police canvassing the neighbourhood and with that there will be other avenues investigated," he said.
"The owners of the development have been spoken to recently and the premises was in the state of being decommissioned and taken apart.
"They are assisting police with investigations."
Inspector Magnone said firefighters had informed police there seemed to be multiple fires, but it was too early to say what had started the blaze.
He said neighbours had informed police that children had been seen around the scene about the time of the fire.
Frank Finlay, duty commander at Wagga said about 6.30pm Fire and Rescue NSW received calls regarding a structure fire at CSU South Campus.
"Four crews from the Wagga local area turned up and found the building well alight," he said.
Inspector Finlay said they are still monitoring hotspots and are unsure of the cause at this time.
"The crews attacked straight away to stop the spread to adjoining buildings which they did a great job of," he said.
"As the night goes on, we are working in the dark so for safety precautions we continue fire operations in the early morning light and hotspots can burn for quite a while.
"Due to the building collapsing slightly, crews need to remove the iron and get to those deep-seated fire."
Due to the building undergoing renovations, asbestos was being removed and bagged before the fire.
"We will be in the process of removing it from the fire scene to ensure the safety of all," Inspector Finlay said.
"A building like this was probably built in the 1970s, so we would expect it to have a fair bit of asbestos in it."
Inspector Finlay said it is undetermined whether an accelerant was used and he is hoping firefighters will finish up today to hand over to police.
Fire and Rescue NSW Turvey Park posted on social media stating it was a large structure fire in the old university accommodation buildings.
"We were called to the fire just after 6.15pm and arrived 4 minutes later to find the building well alight," it read.
"Crews from 472 and Fire and Rescue NSW Station 480 Wagga Wagga got to work to try and cut off the fire and bring it under control.
"The job was made difficult as the windows were sealed up with iron to prevent vandal damage which restricted access."
Anyone with information is asked to please contact Wagga police on 6922 2599 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. All information will remain confidential.
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