Fire closes Mount Vernon city hall

An underground fire caused elevated carbon monoxide levels throughout the building this morning. (1/6/14)

MOUNT VERNON - An underground fire caused Mount Vernon city hall to be evacuated today.

City officials shut down the building around 7:30 a.m. after smoke was detected in the basement. There were very few people inside at the time of closure.

Further inspection uncovered that wires in an underground transformer were smoldering, causing elevated carbon monoxide levels throughout the building.

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Investigators say it appears that recent bad weather may have contributed to sparking the fire. "From what I'm told, because of the salt, it's gotten down and damaged the wires," says Mayor Ernie Davis.

The fire was quickly extinguished and power was being rerouted through other lines. However, officials can't reopen the building until carbon monoxide levels return to normal.

There have been no injuries reported

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