Electrical fire starts in Evanston high-rise

Brian Rosenthal

An electrical fire caused authorities to evacuate an Evanston high-rise Friday night, authorities said.

A fire alarm at 1560 Sherman Ave., which houses the international headquarters of Rotary International, went off shortly after 6 p.m. Friday, according to a statement released by the Evanston Fire Department. Authorities also received 911 calls reporting smoke in the building. Power to the building and surrounding area was cut.

Firefighters responding to the scene saw smoke on the 12th floor and above, Division Chief Tom Janetske said in the statement. They entered the building and found equipment within the electrical vault that was “shorting and arcing.” Authorities evacuated the building and provided assistance to building occupants as firefighters worked with building representatives to isolate the equipment.

Officials for ComEd, the company which provides power to the building, said equipment failure may be the cause for various recent outages in downtown, the release said.

Within four hours, the building was turned back over to property managers, and power was restored to the building and the rest of downtown by midnight.

No injuries were reported.