Smoke at Tulsa City Hall leads to evacuation

Thursday, December 13th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Tulsa's city hall was evacuated Thursday morning after someone smelled smoke on one of the lower floors.

It's back to work for city employees after spending the morning out in the cold. Firefighters responded to an early morning emergency call to City Hall. City employee Ed Lydens, "I was on the 4th floor actually and came it at 7:30 and the fumes when you walked down on street level, basement, fumes are pretty toxic, smoke in the air." Another city employee Darlene Welch, "Course the lights were off when I came in but I smelled something, and then about 15 minutes later, my eyes and throat started burning, and then maintenance was checking the ceilings to see if there was a fire." But maintenance workers couldn't find anything, so they sounded the alarm.

Tulsa Fire Captain Hubert Rouse, "When we got here we immediately shut down the air handling system. We then tried to determine what we had. We weren't able to locate anything for the investigation that was very extensive too. So we don't know what it is yet, but it smelled like electrical, but not really smoke from a fire. But the smoke was real thick." Even though the smell of smoke was concentrated mostly on the bottom floors, firefighters evacuated the entire building and brought in fans to clear the air. Rouse, "We ventilated the building, shut it back up, began to fire all the units separately to see if we could determine if they put off any type of an odor or smell, and that hasn't happened."

Firefighters are still investigating the exact source of the smoke, but for now, it's business as usual for the City of Tulsa.