PIERRE, S.D. – (DRG News) The Pierre Volunteer Fire Department was called to the report of a fire alarm sounding at the South Dakota State Health Laboratory this morning. Firefighters were summoned to the lab, along Fourth Street-around 12:05 a.m.-according to First Assistant Chief Leon Ellis. Ellis says firefighters checked the building when they arrived and found a smoky haze in one of the rooms in the structure’s basement. Ellis says it was discovered that a hot wire behind the bottom panel of a refrigeration unit in the room had burned a paper filter-causing the smoke. Despite the electrical issue, the refrigerator was still functioning. Ellis says an employee was able to move the items from that cooling unit to another refrigeration device, and the malfunctioning unit was unplugged. Ellis says Buildings and Grounds staff were expected to check the unit, which sustained some damage. The department was at the scene of the early morning call for about an hour.
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