The Rotary International headquarters building in Evanston was evacuated late this afternoon after several people reported hearing an explosion in an electrical vault on the building’s 18th floor.

Evanston Fire Chief Greg Klaiber says fire companies arriving on the scene at 1560 Sherman Ave. found an arcing electrical cable inside the vault.

Klaiber says there was no sign of fire outside the vault, although some smoke was observed on the 13th floor, that apparently had spread through the building’s ventilation system.

Klaiber says the building was evacuated and ComEd crews responded to the scene within 30 minutes, disconnected the electrical service and secured the vault to repair the affected cable.

The fire chief says Com Ed will remain on the scene with Rotary building management until full service is restored.  Occupants/tenants should be able to return to the building tomorrow, but should check with building management.

No injuries were reported.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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