SPRINGFIELD, MASS. (WHDH) - A building of the American International College in Springfield suffered significant damage Thursday after a lightning strike, the college’s president said in a statement. 

The Springfield Fire Department first said its crews were on scene around 5:30 p.m. battling a second alarm fire the American International College’s Courniotes Hall at 1000 State Street. 

Photos from the scene showed flames burning through the building’s roof as crews poured water on the fire and while storms swept through the area.

In his statement, College President Hubert Benitez said lightning struck Courniotes Hall Thursday afternoon. 

Campus police later searched the building and confirmed no one was inside, according to Benitez. 

Courniotes Hall houses the American International College’s nursing problem in addition to classrooms for health science courses.

In the wake of Thursday’s lightning strike and fire, Benitez said the college “is committed to taking all actions necessary to ensure that we provide students with continuity in their course of studies for the fall of 2023.” 

“AIC is known for its resilience and we will come back stronger than ever thanks to the help of our community,” Benitez said.

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