By Devin Ferrell and Dani Allsop
The Boise Fire Department responded to a fire in the Morrison Center for the Performing Arts’ Danny Peterson Theatre on Sunday, Feb. 23. No firefighters or bystanders were hurt.
According to Battalion Chief Jake Ellis of the BFD, the fire was isolated to a set of curtains within the theater.
“People in the building noticed the ringing of an alarm, found the smoke, identified the fire in the curtain, went for an extinguisher, used an extinguisher but were unable to complete the job because of the amount of smoke,” Ellis said.
Sophomore Matthew Short was in the building when he saw smoke.
“There was smoke pretty much throughout the building. I was on the second floor practice room and I could just smell smoke,” Short said.
Short said he didn’t hear an alarm while in the building. Ellis confirmed the fire panel did not function the way it should have.
“As much smoke as was in there we should have had alarms go off throughout the whole structure. It sounds like all we had was an alarm at a given panel that was giving a beep,” Ellis said.
Ellis said when a fire is detected it is supposed to trigger an alarm panel that notifies a Boise State substation. The substation then contacts the fire department, which responds accordingly. A bystander called in the fire to 911.
The cause of the fire is still unknown and investigators will be attempting to determine what the ignition point was.
The structural integrity of the Morrison Center is expected to be uncompromised, according to Ellis.
“This is what we would refer to as a fire resistant structure. It’s made of masonry materials—cinderblock, brick, and steel—which hold up pretty well to the affects of fire”.
A total of six fire companies from the BFD responded to the call.