Buffalo, N.Y. city hall evacuated after alarms sound

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

City hall in Buffalo, New York.

The city hall building in Buffalo, New York was evacuated after fire alarms were activated.

"Smoke detectors went off on the 13th and 27th floors. Among other things we lost all communications out of the building. Something cut off communications, something set off those alarms and cut power to elevators," said Mike Lombardo, Buffalo's fire commissioner.

Police and fire crews arrived on scene to discover a power surge in the 27th floor knocked out all communications between the police and fire departments in the city for nearly two hours. Fire crews had to use emergency stairways to examine the building for fire and evacuees of the 32-story building had to use emergency stairways to evacuate because elevators in the building were not functioning properly.

According to Lombardo, "it looks like we have no fire whatsoever [in the building]" and that all 2,800 workers were allowed to return to work shortly after 12:00 p.m.

"We've been able to re-set things...we feel very confident that there's no other problems," added Lombardo.

No one was injured during the incident.