Manhattan, Kan., May 23, 2018 — At 4:10 p.m. on Tuesday, May 22, the Manhattan Fire Department was dispatched to 1117 Mid-Campus Drive, Hale Library, on the Kansas State University campus for a report of smoke on the fourth floor. Upon arrival, crews found a four-story section of the building with smoke showing from the roof. The fire reached a third alarm before it was contained in approximately two hours and controlled in four hours. A total of 70 firefighters responded on 12 fire apparatus with the last units still on scene Wednesday morning. No injuries were reported to occupants or firefighters. Hale Library will be closed until further notice.
Hale Library is the main Kansas State University library. It was dedicated in 1997 after a multiyear renovation and expansion project of the original campus library building, Farrell Library, which opened in 1927. Hale Library has more than 400,000 square feet of space and has more than two million books in its collection. The fire occurred in the roof of the original Farrell Library, in an area containing several large air handling units and proved very difficult for firefighters to gain access to extinguish the fire. Damage estimates are not available at this time. Fire damage was limited to a portion of the roof, with extensive water and smoke damage throughout the structure.
Investigators from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, the Kansas Office of the State Fire Marshal, and the Manhattan Fire Department will be conducting the fire investigation. The fire cause is under investigation at this time.
Fort Riley Fire Department, Riley County Fire Department, Blue Township Fire Department, and Geary County Fire Department, all either assisted at the scene or backfilled City fire stations. Riley County EMS, Kansas State University Police Department, Riley County Emergency Management assisted, as well as Kansas State employees from fire prevention, facilities, and administration. The American Red Cross brought food and drinks to the scene as well. The Manhattan Fire Department is grateful for all of our partners that assisted with the fire.
Please contact Deputy Chief Ryan Almes, Manhattan Fire Department, at 785-587-4504 with any questions.
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