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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

LDS Conference Center catches fire

At around 8:15p.m. Monday night, a small fire damaged the LDS Conference Center's mechanical room.  The fire caused the sprinkler system to come on, causing thousands of gallons of water to leak through the floor and spill into the first ten rows of seats in the auditorium, the seats for General Authorities, and onto and around the pulpit.

ABC 4 said that smoke triggered the building's sprinkler system, which caused 40 fire fighters to respond to the two-alarm blaze.  When crews arrived, the sprinklers had put out the fire, and crew had to clean up "'more than a couple feet of water' in the mechanical room and around the pulpit", according to the Salt Lake TribuneThe Deseret News reports that the fire started near a bank of batteries.  The News also reparts that Salt Lake fire spokesman Jasen Asay said that it is too early still to know what caused the fire, but that it is under investigation.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released an official statement:

The fire at the Church Conference Center was limited to a backup power supply cabinet in an electrical control room above the main auditorium.  Two sprinkler heads functioned as designed and extinguished the fire.  Water overflow to the auditorium floor below was limited to a 50-foot area in front of the podium but did not cause significant damage.  Water in the affected area has been extracted, and fans are being used to dry the carpet and chairs.  The actual cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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