Boise & Garden City

Seized compressor in the attic at Boise VA causes smoke, power outage

A seized compressor caused smoke in the attic in Building 67 at the Boise Veterans Affairs Medical Center around 9 p.m. Friday eventually leading to a power outage in the building.

The Boise Fire Department initially responded to a call about a suspected structure fire at the VA Medical Center after people smelled smoke, said Steven Rasulo, battalion chief for the department. There were patients in the building at the time, so the department brought in additional resources.

The smoke was eventually attributed to a compressor in the attic. The motor seized, causing smoke and tripping a breaker in the building that was powering a unit with patients in it. The department worked with nearby hospitals to find where as many as 14 patients that may need to be moved could go if necessary, and there were ambulances on standby.

VA electricians were able to restore power to the building before any patients had to be moved, Rasulo said. The smoke and power outages have both been resolved.

Hayley covers local government for the Idaho Statesman with a primary focus on Boise. Previously, she worked for the Salisbury Daily Times, the Hartford Courant, the Denver Post and McClatchy’s D.C. bureau. Hayley graduated from Ohio University with degrees in journalism and political science.If you like seeing stories like this, please consider supporting our work with a digital subscription to the Idaho Statesman.