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BOISE -- The state of Idaho is suing the federal government for nearly $1.6 million because state attorneys say members of the U.S. Navy's Reserve Officer Training Corps negligently caused a fire at the University of Idaho.

The lawsuit was filed in Boise's U.S. District Court earlier this week.

Deputy Idaho Attorney General Mike Gilmore says members of the Navy ROTC program at the University of Idaho caused serious damage to a World War II-era building when charcoal briquettes were left smoldering after a BBQ last year.

The state contends that that the federal government was responsible for the upkeep of the ROTC building, and that Navy ROTC officers and students should have known that dumping briquettes in a flowerbed would pose a fire risk.

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