Fire at Missouri S&T was accidental from electrical malfunction

Emerson Hall at Missouri S&T in Rolla burns on Dec. 8, 2016. (Photo by Owen Murphy, used with permission)
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ROLLA, Mo. (KY3) - A fire that damaged an academic building at Missouri University of Science and Technology last week was accidental. Fire investigators believe it started near a circuit junction box that powered an electric motor attached to the cooling station.

The fire started about 12:40 p.m. on Dec. 8 in Emerson Hall, which houses classrooms, offices and laboratories for the Electrical Engineering Department. Firefighters took a couple of hours to put out the fire. Emerson Hall is not being used because of fire, water and smoke damage. Final exams scheduled in the building were moved to other buildings.

Investigators from the State Fire Marshal’s Office and an insurance
company worked together to determine the cause. Rolla Fire Chief Ron Smith says the investigation is closed.