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No injuries in Flarsheim drone battery explosion

Reports of a fire in the building prompted KCFD response and evacuation
Firefighters+responding+to+the+fire+at+Flarsheim+Hall.
Lydia Schneider/Roo News
Firefighters responding to the fire at Flarsheim Hall.

  Alarms rang out in Flarsheim Hall around 3 p.m. on Wednesday, forcing an evacuation due to a fire caused by a drone battery.

  As students and staff clustered outside near the building’s exits, the fire department responded in full force. Seven fire trucks and ambulances, as well as two fire chiefs arrived at the scene, along with hazmat personnel. 

  KCFD Battalion Chief Michael Hopkins confirms that a small fire was sparked by a lithium-ion battery belonging to a flying drone that was charging in a lab on the third floor. 

  “The battery was submerged in a five-gallon drum of water and quickly extinguished,” said Hopkins. 

  Onlookers observed firefighters carrying large fans into the building, which Hopkins says was to mitigate “quite a bit of smoke” from the brief blaze.

  Director of Operations for the Missouri Institute of Defense and Energy, Scott Weir, was reticent to comment during the incident. 

  “The key things to know are that the fire alarm worked, the building got evacuated and everybody is safe,” Weir said. “Until I know the facts, I have nothing more to add.”

  Students on the scene were more forthcoming.

  Freshman computer science major Zach Annin said, “I was actually in the middle of a class, and a fire alarm went off.”

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