(Walla Walla, WA) -- Fire crews say an overheated lithium-ion battery left on a wooden shelf inside a pump house at the Walla Walla State Penitentiary caught fire, and led to an inferno that caused around $35,000 in damage.

High Temperatures Played a Role

The blaze broke out around 10:17am Thursday. When city fire crews arrived, they discovered both smoke and flames from a 25x15 foot pump house. Firefighters got to work and were able to get the fire under control in less than an hour. No injuries to the fire crews, inmates or staff at the prison. The fire was deemed an accident.

The Walla Walla City Fire Department says it's a lesson.

The department says they're strongly encouraging neighbors to take some extra precautions when storing or getting rid of any batteries, particularly lithium-ion. They recommend you keep batteries at room temperature, and never store them in direct sunlight or a hot vehicle.


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