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'Smoke in the electrical room' closes down London City Hall

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London City Hall has been evacuated and will be closed for the remainder of the day after smoke was discovered in the electrical room on Wednesday morning.

According to CTV News London’s Daryl Newcombe, an issue with a transformer in the electrical room Wednesday morning prompted the evacuation of the building.

In a statement, the city said all in-person services at city hall will be unavailable on Wednesday. 

LFD Platoon Chief Gary Mosburger explained, “One of the transformers malfunctioned and created some smoke, which obviously initiated an evacuation of the building.”

He added, “Currently, city hall is running off of the back-up power generator, which is only allowing for one elevator and emergency lighting.”

No injuries were reported.

City hall is letting small groups of employees go back into the building to collect necessary equipment before being sent to alternate work locations, or being sent to work from home.

Service London, the city’s online and telephone customer service line, remains active. Common issues such as potholes, garbage collection, flooding and more can be reported using the Service London Portal

The city said services at other City of London offices remain open and available including Citi Plaza, all Ontario Works offices, and the Provincial Offences Administrative Office.  

City Manager Sandra Datars Bere said municipal services are still operating but if you had business at city hall on Wednesday, “Call Service London and check-in. We had a couple of events that clearly we’re going to have to cancel because [there is] no power.”

“We’ll have power later today, but right now we need to do some prep work,” Datars Bere added.

In an update posted to social media, the London Fire Department said fire crews were clearing, and that London Hydro is working to resolve an electrical issue. 

On the heels of Emergency Preparedness Week, Mosburger praised the quick actions of city staff.

"City hall staff reacted exactly as they should. They got up, left their belongings behind, and got out to safety," he said.

City hall is expected to reopen on Thursday. 

— With files from CTV News London's Daryl Newcombe

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