A power failure hit buildings on the south end of the Northwestern University campus and the north edge of Evanston’s downtown this afternoon.

An emergency generator outside a campus dorm at Sheridan Road and Hinman Avenue.

Evanston Police Commander Tom Guenther says there was a fire or explosion in an electrical vault at 555 Clark St.

University police say the incident happened about 12:25 p.m.

Commonwealth Edison crews were still on the scene about 5 p.m. today and the 500 block of Clark was blocked off to traffic.

Guenther says the power failure also affected the university-owned high-rise office building at 1800 Sherman Ave.

Power generally appeared to have been restored to most affected buildings by late this afternoon, but some traffic signals in the area were still in emergency flashing mode and an emergency generator was still running in front of one campus dormitory.

Evanston Fire Division Chief Tom Janetske says firefighters and police helped about 400 people evacuate the 1800 Sherman building after emergency lights in the building failed to come on when the power went out.

Janetske says the 800 Elgin Road condo tower also lost power but that its emergency backup systems kicked in and no evacuation of that building was required.

There were no reports of injuries from the incident and and university police say there was no damage to campus buildings.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Police/FD activity on Sherman Ave
    I noticed a slew of police cars and several fire trucks on the 2000 block of Sherman Ave yesterday afternoon. I was curious about what they were doing, but when I later searched the usual websites I didn’t find anything. I wonder if it had something to do with this power outage?

    1. Subject stabbed
      All the activity later in the evening (6pm or so) was because of a stabbing that occurred in the 2000 block of Sherman. The ‘Victim’ ran off before Police arrived and was later located wandering toward the Davis El downtown.

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