Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

July 18, 2013

Fire at CBOC linked to electrical switchgear short


Journal-Express

Knoxville — Yesterday, while VA Central Iowa Health Care System (VACIHCS) engineering employees were working on an overflow drain of the cooling system, in Building 1 of the Knoxville Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) attic area, they smelled smoke.

Staff was alerted and the Knoxville Fire Department was called. Veterans and staff were evacuated from the building safely.

At approximately 1:50 p.m., Knoxville FD declared an “All clear,” and CBOC staff and Veterans were able to reenter the building.

There was no fire or damage to the main area of the attic. A switchgear for an exhaust fan in the attic area shorted out and created the smoke, which was distributed through the vents of the cooling system. When the system’s power was turned off, the smoke dissipated. Damage was only to the switchgear which, is being repaired.

VACIHCS staff is continuing to dehumidify and cool the spaces affected by the prior overflow drain of the cooling system. The CBOC is open and fully functional. There were no injuries.