Business as usual at Government Plaza following fire

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) Monday, May 5 was the first work day at mobile’s Government Plaza after Saturday morning’s two alarm fire.

It was business pretty much as usual, but some evidence of a fire could still be seen.
Cleanup crews were back on the scene Monday morning, but the hard work had already been done.

You had to know where to look to find fire damage visible from the atrium; but on the 8th floor, where the jurors meet, changes were noticeable.

Investigators believe the fire started outside on the roof.

County Commissioner Connie Hudson said, “It was contained to the roof. It never really got inside the building. It did cause a window to breach, and that’s what allowed the smoke in, and the smoke set the fire alarm off.”

Two windows were boarded up, courtroom doors were opened while machines cleared out the smoke, and vents were covered.

The carpet was cleaned, and you could hardly smell any smoke.

That was a far cry from Saturday morning as seen from a picture on the roof.

Hudson said, “The contractors had been working in that area and they heat tar up with torches and they think that the smoldering tar actually ignited some wood that was behind one of the metal pieces.”

Officials with Servicemaster said one reason their crews were able to respond quickly is that a number of them had been called in from out of town to clean up after last week’s flooding.”

Chris Elliott with Servicemaster Restoration by The Elliott Companies said, “We’ve got crews here from as far away as Chicago, Kansas City, Memphis, pulled in crews from Pensacola and other areas.”

District Attorney Ashley Rich said she put security measures in place and the office’s computer system wasn’t affected, but she said, “We do have some significant smoke damage, and some water damage on the seventh floor of the District Attorney’s Office.”

If you’re worried about taxpayers footing the bill for repairs, county officials said don’t: the roofing company has insurance.

County Commissioner Connie Hudson said the fire may only delay finishing the roofing project by about a week.

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