Evanston fire officials say the cause of a fire response at an Evanston high-rise on Friday evening, April 24, was electrical. Fire officials and building representatives worked with Com Ed crews to isolate the shorting arcing equipment in a 12th-floor electric vault.
The Evanston Fire Department received the alarm activation and 911 reports of smoke in the building at the Rotary Building, 1560 Sherman Ave., shortly after 6 p.m. on April 24. Upon the arrival of fire companies, smoke was reported on the 12th floor. Firefighters found that the shorting and arcing electrical equipment was contained within the electrical vault, but that smoke was affecting floors above 12. Additional fire companies provided search support and evacuation assistance to the building’s occupants. No injuries were reported.
A MABAS (Mutual Aid Box Alarm System) alarm, which includes nearly every fire department in Illinois, was requested to provide coverage to the City of Evanston and to support the Evanston Fire Department’s high-rise response plan.
Fire officials say that within four hours the building was turned back over to the property managers. Com Ed officials said the equipment failure may have been to blame for additional isolated outages throughout the downtown area. Power was restored that evening.