3,000 Evacuated from Mo. Fed Building

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. --

 

Nearly 3,000 federal workers and all the children at an on-site daycare had to run into the cold around lunch time on Friday after a fire in a utility room filled the first two floors with smoke.

Dozens of firefighters rushed to the 20-story Richard Bolling Federal Building at 12th Street and Holmes Road at around 12:45 p.m. and went into high-rise response. They said the smoke was so thick that they had to use thermal imaging cameras to find the source of the fire.

Firefighters found the source of the fire in a first floor electrical room and after turning off the power, they put it out.

Employees were evacuated in an orderly manner and they spent the next hour stuck outside in the cold and rain. Fire officials said one man was treated for high blood pressure, but no one else was hurt.

Workers said they could smell the smoke, but because they have done so many fire drills, they knew exactly what to do.

Fire officials said even though the fire was small and contained to one room, it was tough to put out.

"Yeah, it's very tricky," said Kansas City Fire Marshall Floyd Peoples. "It's very toxic and it's very difficult to find the source. Because it's electric it's very, very dangerous and very hard to extinguish. In most cases, it's a matter of getting the building engineer and we do a shutdown and we get everyone out until we can let it cool down."

 

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