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Cleveland: Key Tower evacuated after fire

6:51 PM, Aug 27, 2012   |    comments
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CLEVELAND --  Cleveland fire crews were on the scene of a small fire at Key Tower Monday afternoon. More than 3,200 people were evacuated, and had to stand in the pouring rain in Public Square.

Cleveland Fire Department spokesman Larry Gray says there was a minor explosion in a high voltage breaker, cutting power to the first twelve floors and sending smoke through the basement and first floor.

Workersw told Channel 3 that higher floors also lost power as well.

"There was a lot of smoke below us, but there wasn't a lot of smoke into the buildings, which helped out," said Cleveland Fire Assistant Chief Brent Collins.

There was a pressure system in place that put the fire out. The fire was contained to the vault room. Employees were allowed to reenter the building to collect their belongings, but were then sent home for the day.

"It was really scary and I feel sorry for a lot of people trying to get down. Like I work on the 42nd floor. And we had to take the steps down," said Glenda Collins. She said she's worked there for seven years, and never experienced a day like Monday.

Once repairs are made, the building should be able to reopen as normal. As of this evening, KeyBank officials say it's unlikely the building will reopen tomorrow.

Tom Stevens, vice chair at KeyBank, said employees practice evacuation drills three to four times a year. He said today was a very orderly evacuation, with everyone doing what they were supposed to do.

 "We usually go down three floors just to practice," said Stevens. "Today when the alarm came on, it said go all the way to ground floor, so people knew it was more serious."

There were no injuries and FirstEnergy will determine the cause of the fire. 

WKYC-TV

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