(BLOOMINGTON) - Dozens were evacuated at Smallwood Plaza in downtown Bloomington this morning when a switchbox fire caused a power surge which caused a generator to kick out a huge plume of black smoke.
Several people called 911, starting at 9:49 a.m., to report that the 8-story apartment building was on fire. One woman entered nearby city hall to say someone was trapped.
Bloomington Fire Department Capt. Tania Daffron says there was no fire at Smallwood and that residents were evacuated just as a precaution.
he generator was safe and continued to supply power to the building during the power outage that ensued.
"During the demolition and construction in the Rogers and Morton streets area, some Duke electrical equipment burnt up and sent out a power surge, which set off several alarms and deactivated traffic lights and knocked out power at Smallwood, which activated their backup generator," Daffron explained. "It sent up a plume of diesel smoke, and with that, we had pedestrians and bystanders who went to City Hall and said Smallwood was on fire."
Firefighters and police officers searched the upper floors of the building to make sure there was no smoke or danger. Fire trucks, rescue vehicles and police cars surrounded the building and slowed traffic through the area.
Duke Energy workers reported a switchbox fire about 9:45 a.m. in the 500 block of North Rogers Street.
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