State Pen Pumphouse Fire Caused by Overheated Battery
Officials have released more details about the pumphouse fire at Walla Walla State pen on Thursday.
Fire apparently started by a battery on a shelf that overheated.
Around 10:17 AM Thursday (July 28) Walla Walla fire crews were dispatched to the Washington State Penitentiary for a report of a fire.
Upon arrival, they saw flames and smoke coming from the pumphouse, a 25' x 15' foot unoccupied building.
The fire was quickly knocked down and fire investigators discovered the cause of the blaze was a lithium-ion battery that had been left on a wooden shelf as storage. Fire crews didn't say how large it was, but it overheated, setting off the fire.
The fire was brought under control about an hour later, it was bit more difficult as flames had spread into the attic area of the building.
According to the Walla Walla Fire Department, property and content losses are expected to be in excess of $35,000.
The Walla Walla Fire Department also had this caution for citizens:
"During the current heat advisory, the city of Walla Walla Fire Department encourages residents to take extra precautions when storing and disposing of any batteries, especially lithium ion. Keep batteries at room temperature and never store them in direct sunlight or a hot vehicle."
Of course, this would apply to everyone else as well.