Fire at Edina business was sparked by a charging smartphone

Sparks came from a worker's phone, igniting nearby combustibles.
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Officials in Edina have said that a fire that damaged a business on Bush Lake Road earlier this week was started by a charging cellphone.

The Edina Fire Department was called to employee engagement company BI Worldwide at 7:33 a.m. Tuesday when the building's sprinkler system was triggered.

It was later established that an employee sitting in her cubicle saw sparks coming from her charging cellphone that "quickly ignited nearby combustibles."

Workers were able to extinguish the flames and leave the building, only for the fire to re-ignite before being knocked down by the sprinkler system.

One worker had to be taken to Fairview Southdale Hospital with smoke inhalation.

The fire damage was contained to just four cubicles, but the building itself suffered water and smoke damage.

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"It’s great that BI Worldwide had fire extinguishers in place and employees knew how to use them, but most importantly, employees exited the building and the fire sprinkler system extinguished the fire, keeping the fire damage to a minimum, which will allow them to reoccupy this building sometime soon,” said Fire Marshal Rick Hammerschmidt in a press release.

"This is another great example of the value of having a fire sprinkler system in a building or in a home. If this building didn’t have a fire sprinkler system, BI Worldwide may not have been able to reoccupy this building.

"The content damage and impact on business and employees would have been extreme."

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