Battery Gases Spur Evacuation Of Washburn Art Lab

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Several fire trucks were seen on the northwest end of Washburn University's campus Tuesday morning. Topeka Fire Department Deputy Fire Chief Neil Hix said the incident was in connection with batteries that had "off-gassed some fumes." He didn't know what type of batteries or how it happened.

Hix said crews removed the batteries, evacuated the building, ventilated it, then monitored the air. He said the entire incident lasted about an hour.

WU Review - Washburn's newspaper - tweeted the following post at 10:06 a.m.:
There was an electrical fire at the Mulvane Art Lab this morning. There was a lot of smoke. No one was hurt.

An employee of the university said fire crews were checking fire alarm backup batteries and two of them caught fire. It was put out, but because of acid in batteries, a hazmat crew was called in as a precaution. Crews were also airing out the building.

The Mulvane Art Museum & Art Lab is located at 1700 SW Jewell Ave.


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