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Smoke forces evacuation of county building

Firefighters think a burned-out elevator fan caused smoke that forced the evacaution of the Henderson County office building at 100 N. King St. shortly before noon today.

The city fire department responded to the call of smoke and a burning rubber odor in the building at 11:53 a.m. and cleared the people from the two-story structure. An employee made the emergency call about light smoke in the building.

Interim Fire Chief Joe Vindigni said firefighters and inspectors had checked the electrical system, the air conditioning and other possible causes and found nothing. Then a firefighter radioed from inside the building that he had identified the probable cause — an elevator fan. Vindigni said the air conditioning system probably picked up the smoke from there and pushed it through the building.

No one was hurt. The building was cleared of smoke and employees went back to work after the 45-minute evacuation.