University of Iowa fire blamed on extension cord

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Officials are blaming an idle electrical extension cord for an accidental fire that damaged the Bowen Science Building at the University of Iowa campus in Iowa City.

The university said in a news release Tuesday that the damage estimate from the June 11 fire has been raised to at least $1.5 million and doesn’t include damage to lab equipment or supplies that may need repairing or replacing. The original estimate was $500,000.

No injuries have been reported.

The fire sprinkler system contained the flames to a second-floor laboratory.

The building opened in 1972. It houses a variety of labs, department and teacher offices and classrooms.