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Update: Electrical Failure Causes Fire at Mercer Island School District Building

Mercer Island and Bellevue firefighters responded to a blaze at a Mercer Island School District storage and utility building on SE 42nd St.

Update, Wednesday 6 p.m.:

Firefighters say an electrical failure is to blame for a single-alarm fire Wednesday afternoon that damaged a Mercer Island School District storage and utility building near Islander Stadium.

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Smoke from the fire at the building on the 8700 block of SE 42nd Street, located directly behind Crest and right next to the bus fuel pumps, was noticed by passersby at 12:26 p.m. and they quickly called 911. Mercer Island Firefighters arrived on scene within minutes, and were able to extinguish this fire by 12:40 p.m. with no damage to a nearby bus fuel pump station or other buildings.

Mercer Island Fire investigators say the fire originated in a supply area and was caused by an electrical fault.

The building was unoccupied when the fire started, and the building and contents sustained damage caused by fire, heat, water and smoke. Seven Mercer Island Firefighters extinguished this fire, assisted by four firefighters from Bellevue.

Preliminary damage estimates to the building and contents are $40,000.

Update, Wednesday 3 p.m.:

The Mercer Island School District has issued the following news release concerning the minor fire that occurred at the MISD MOT "block house" building:

A small fire broke out today in the bus parking area in an outbuilding known as the block house, located directly behind Crest and right next to the bus fuel pumps. Emergency crews responded immediately and the fire was extinguished. All staff and students nearby at both Crest and in the Maintenance and Operations Building (MOT) were safely evacuated and returned to their stations a short time later. The Fire Department is presently investigating the cause of the fire. Risk Management is also involved in the investigation. The block house is used for housing equipment for minor bus repairs, and it houses a computer for measuring fuel usage by the district and by the City of Mercer Island. The district has alternate plans in place to ensure its busses and other vehicles are fueled and ready for use.

During the fire department's investigation, power will be shut off for the fuel pumps, the MOT Building and stadium. Users of the stadium have been notified that Wednesday evening's events are canceled. It is expected that power will be restored to all three district facilities during the day on Thursday, January 10, 2013.

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Original Story: Local firefighters responded to a fire at a Mercer Island School District building near Islander Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.

Mercer Island Firefighters responded to the call on SE 42nd Street at the Mercer Island School District Transportation Bus Barn at approximately 12:30 p.m.

The fire reportedly damaged the block house between the Admininstration Building on 86th Ave. SE and the Islander Stadium High School track. The block house is primarily used to store repair equipment for the MISD's buses.

Crews were still working on the scene at 1:30 p.m., but the fire was extinguished within minutes of crews arriving at the site of the fire.

Mercer Island Superintendent Dr. Gary Plano said the fire caused "minor" damage and had been extinguished and a nearby fueling station near the block house was unaffected by the fire. Plano said no school operations or traffic diversions were caused by the fire, and that the Mercer Island Fire Deparment was investigating the cause of the fire.

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