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Report on Detrick lab fire proposes safeguards

Mar. 17, 2014 - 01:19PM   |  
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FREDERICK, MD. — The Army Corps of Engineers is recommending safeguards after a fire caused $10 million in damage to an unfinished laboratory building at Fort Detrick in Frederick.

The Frederick News-Post reported Sunday on a report it obtained through the Freedom of Information Act on last year’s fire at the new U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases.

Investigators couldn’t determine the cause of the blaze. But they concluded it started in a room where a welder had been working without a required permit or a co-worker watching for fire.

The report recommends a fire watch for all welding operations. It also urges reassessment of an epoxy wall coating cited as the fire’s primary fuel source.

The fire pushed the building’s completion date back from 2014 to May 2015.

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