The U’s Southeast Steam Plant catches fire

At about 7 p.m. Thursday, the roof of the University’s Southeast Steam Plant caught fire, causing minimal property damage but no injuries, University officials said.

A faulty vent is believed to have caused the fire in the seven-story building’s roofing material as plant employees attempted to bring its three boilers online, said Jerome Malmquist, director of energy at Facilities Management.

It took several hours for the Minneapolis Fire Department to put the fire out because they had to dig through about six inches of particle board and a “sort of foam rubber membrane” to reach the fire, said University Police Chief Greg Hestness.

The University’s steam supply was never jeopardized and everything should be back to normal within a week, Malmquist said. He complimented the reactions of University staff and the fire department.

“We’ve got some dang good people on our campus and thank goodness for that,” Malmquist said.