Hale Library fire ruled accidental

Published: May. 23, 2018 at 9:48 AM CDT
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Federal investigators have joined in the effort to determine what sparked Tuesday's large fire

that burned for hours.

ATF officials were called in to help the state Fire Marshal's office and the Manhattan Fire Dept. conduct their investigation, MFD said Wednesday morning.

The agencies determined the fire was accidental and caused by roofing operations that were being conducted. Investigators are still trying to come up with an estimate for just how much damage the fire caused.

The fire started shortly after 4 p.m. in the roof of the original Farrell Library where there are large air handling units, the MFD said. The location made it harder for firefighters to reach the flames. They spent two hours getting the blaze contained and finally got it under control around 8 p.m.

MFD said the fire was contained to the roof, but it did cause extensive water and smoke damage throughout the 400,000 sq. ft. building. As such, the whole Hale Library will remain closed until further notice.

A three-alarm fire, seventy firefighters from four fire departments were called to the library, at 1117 Mid-Campus Dr., on the K-State campus, to either start knocking down the flames or backing up those who were. None of them - nor anyone who was inside the building at the time - were injured, MFD said.

The building has been turned back over to Kansas State.