Douglas Courts Evacuated for False Alarm |

Douglas Courts Evacuated for False Alarm

Staff Reports

The Douglas County Courthouse was evacuated Tuesday morning after workers said they smelled burning electrical wires.

Fire investigators said the suspicious smoke that circulated through part of the building’s ventilation system actually originated in a microwave. Douglas County Sheriff’s Sgt. Lance Modispacher said an employee accidentally burned the handle on a drinking mug.

“It was a cup with a rubber handle,” he said. “It just burned up and stunk up the room, but we were back to work in about an hour.”

Modispacher said the evacuation, which started about 10:30 a.m., affected about 75 people in the District Attorney’s Office, Juvenile Probation, and justice and district courts. A government class from Douglas High School was in Judge David Gamble’s courtroom on a field trip at the time.

“It just disrupted our day,” he said. Workers were allowed back inside by 11:30 a.m.

Although jail inmates share the same complex, none was evacuated, Modispacher said. The affected ventilation system is not connected to the jail.