Smoke causes partial evacuation of the Dane Co. Jail

Posted Wednesday, November 20, 2013 --- 2:48 p.m.

Smoke from a malfunctioning elevator motor forced the partial evacuation of the Dane Co. Jail Wednesday morning.

It happened around 8:00 a.m., when smoke began filling a hallway of the City-County Building (CCB) portion of the jail.

A deputy working on the seventh floor of the jail first felt the floor beneath her shake, then smelled smoke and went to investigate.

The fire alarm was sounded and heavy smoke began coming through the vents on the east side of the jail.

The smoke was contained to an office area on the seventh floor and a kitchen on the sixth floor. Authorities soon discovered that the elevator motor on the top floor of the CCB was the source.

One City of Madison employee was trapped in a public elevator for slightly over an hour.

Two mental health workers had to be evacuated from their offices.

No inmates were evacuated and no one was injured.

“Todays incident in the City-County Building highlights the many hazards that exist and pose risks to Dane County Jail staff and those individuals incarcerated in the jail,” Sheriff David Mahoney is quoted in a release. “Furthermore, today’s incident raises life and safety concerns that have been discussed as part of the county jail space needs study and plan for action in the county’s 2014 budget. I am planning a full debriefing of this mornings events and a detailed after action report that can serve to make all involved better prepared for major incidents such as a fire in or outside the jail that threaten life and safety.”

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