UPDATE: Unattended, Charging Lithium Batteries Linked to Fire at Boise State Robotics Lab 

click to enlarge Fire damaged an annex building on the campus of Boise State December 3. - BOISE STATE FIRE
  • Boise State Fire
  • Fire damaged an annex building on the campus of Boise State December 3.
UPDATE: Dec. 7, 2016

The Idaho Department of Insurance confirmed Tuesday that a Dec. 3 fire, which swept through a Boise State University robotics lab in the 1000 block of South Manitou Avenue, was caused by lithium batteries left on a charger.

The determination came in a preliminary investigation by the Idaho State Fire Marshal's Office and the Boise Fire Department. The batteries had reportedly been unattended since 2 p.m. that day and a passerby smelled smoke and reported the fire at 6:30 p.m.

“Lithium batteries should never be unattended while they are charging,” says Fire Marshal Knute Sandahl. “Safety should always be a prime consideration. A little extra caution goes a long way in preventing fires and injuries, especially at this time of year with the number of electronic gifts that will be given and received.”

Fire officials said lithium batteries should be stored in original containers in a dry, well-ventilated area and kept apart from combustible or flammable materials.

ORIGINAL STORY: Dec. 4, 2016

Boise State public safety officials sent out an alert Saturday night, texting and calling nearby residents that a fire had erupted in a building on campus.

Boise Fire dispatched three engines, two trucks and two battalion chiefs to the 1000 block of South Manitou Avenue, between University Drive and Belmont Street. That's where they found flames jumping from the windows of a one-story office building, an annex of the university's engineering complex.

The flames were knocked down in short order and crews spent the night securing the area while an investigation into the blaze got underway. There were no injuries to report. Officials said the building had been locked up and no one was inside at the time of the fire.
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