University of Iowa science lab damaged in fire

Jeff Charis-Carlson and

Holly Hines , Press Citizen
Published 9:26 a.m. CT June 12, 2017 | Updated 20 minutes ago

A fire Sunday night damaged a laboratory in the most heavily used research facility on the University of Iowa campus.

Iowa City firefighters responded to a fire alarm at Bowen Science Building, located on Newton Road, around 5:50 p.m. Sunday and found flames on the second floor, according to an Iowa City news release. Sixteen firefighters extinguished the fire in about 20 minutes.

Bowen’s sprinkler system contained the flames to the room where the fire started, and no one was injured in the blaze. The fire caused an estimated $500,000 in damage to the 44-year-old facility, according to the release.

UI officials could not immediately confirm that damage estimate Monday.

University officials recently updated the Iowa Board of Regents about long-term plans for a $30 million renovation of the building. An $18.5 million project to modernize Bowen’s building systems is continuing through the 2017-18 academic year.

“Bowen Science is a building built in 1973 and funds are needed to completely modernize this building,” Rod Lehnertz said last week during a meeting of the regents’ Property and Facilities Committee. “It still remains – approaching 50 years of age – the most intensely utilized research facility on our campus. It is critical that the building be modernized and taken care of for the next generation.”

The Johnson County Ambulance Service and Emergency Communications Center, as well as the UI Department of Public Safety, UI Health Protection Office and laboratory staff assisted during the fire.

The Iowa City Fire Department is investigating the cause. 

This story will be updated.

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