Fire at ASU's ISTB 7 caused by 'spontaneous combustion' of materials

The project's completion date is still on track for December, a spokesperson for the construction team said

An ASU spokesperson confirmed Thursday that a fire at the construction site of Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building 7 was caused by the "spontaneous combustion" of materials being used to insulate the roof of the building.

Firefighters from Tempe, Scottsdale, Phoenix and Mesa fire departments responded to a second-alarm fire at the ISTB 7 construction site Tuesday night. No injuries were reported and the fire was contained by 7:30 p.m., said Brandon Siebert, Tempe Fire Department public information officer.

READ MORE: Fire breaks out on roof of ASU's ISTB 7 construction site

According to the University, McCarthy Building Companies, the general contractor for the project, has begun remediation efforts. A spokesperson with McCarthy said the company does not expect the fire to impact ISTB 7's opening, which is scheduled for December 2021.

ISTB 7 is a new “high-performance research facility” that will house the College of Global Futures, the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, the Rob and Melani Walton Sustainability Solutions Service, School of Sustainability and the Institute of Human Origins, according to its website.

The $192 million building began construction in January 2019 and will also include classrooms, a conference center and research labs. 

"When complete, it will provide a home to an interdisciplinary approach to knowledge generation and leading-edge research, including innovative endeavors focusing on the sustainability of food, water, and energy," the University said in a statement.


Reach the reporter at rpriest2@asu.edu and follow @reaganspriest on Twitter.

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