Cause of U.P. Medical Center fire determined

ISHPEMING – The cause of a fire that caused evacuation of the Upper Peninsula Medical Center on Thursday has been determined.

According to Marquette City Fire Department Chief Tom Belt, a light fixture retainer overheated, causing it to ignite and making contact with the paper records in a basement storage room at the center. The room was full of paper records stored on metal racks.

The fire department responded to a call at about 7:50 a.m. and upon arrival, firefighters spotted light smoke on the west side of the building. The fire was located on the basement level. According to the fire department, two sprinkler heads were activated due to hot conditions in the room.

Firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the blaze and vent smoke from the building.

Several of the center’s offices remained closed until noon Thursday, while others were closed until Friday morning.

Adelle Whitefoot can be reached at 906-486-4401.