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Electrical fire hits Rotary tower

Evanston fire officials say arcing equipment in a 12th floor electrical closet caused smoke that led to the evacuation of the Rotary International building downtown Friday night.

Fire Division Chief Tom Janetske says firefighters were alerted to the problem by 911 calls and the building’s alarm system shortly after 6 p.m.

When they arrived at the scene at 1560 Sherman Ave. they found that smoke from the arcing equipment had spread to other upper floors of the building.

Fire crews helped evacuate the building and units from neighboring communities provided backup assistance.

Janetske says that within four hours the building was turned back over to the property managers.

Com Ed crews worked to repair the damaged electrical equipment and Janetske says the utility reports the equipment failure at the Rotary building may have triggered isolated power outages elsewhere downtown last night.

All power reportedly had been restored downtown by midnight.

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