Bay City Officials Evaluate City Hall Fire Damage 10-12-2010 - WNEM TV 5

Bay City Officials Evaluate City Hall Fire Damage 10-12-2010

Crews continue to cleanup after a fire and smoke forced the evacuation of City Hall in Bay City Tuesday afternoon.
Fire officials told TV5 the fire began between the ceiling and roof on the fourth floor around 12:15 p.m.
A total of seven fire departments were called in to help fight the blaze at the 116-year-old building. They believe the fire was possibly caused by a fan shorting out.
The fourth floor ceiling of the south end of the building completely collapsed -- officials said planning, zoning and redevelopment departments are housed there.
"Employees started to notice that smoke was coming into their offices up on the fourth floor," said Deputy City Manager Dana Muscott. "There was the smell of smoke lingering down into the bottom floors as well."
City officials will spend most of Wednesday assessing the building for structural and electrical damage.
"I'm concerned about a lot of things being damaged," said City Manager Robert Belleman. "The building itself, the paper, the computers we have -- [they're] all exposed at this time. I know that firefighters attempted to cover some of it when they first got on scene to limit some of the damage, especially to the computer system."
About 50 city employees were sent home Tuesday following the evacuation. No injuries were reported.
Officials told WNEM TV5's Brian Wood the fire has nothing to do with the installation of City Hall's new roof. The fire started in an area not related to that work.
Authorities said there could be extensive water damage throughout the building due to the sprinkler system going off for two hours and firefighter's efforts to contain the fire.
All floors reportedly have water damage.
"Right now [we've] got some extensive damage up on the fourth floor and in the attic area," said Bay City Fire Chief Greg Michalek. "On the lower floors it's going to be water damage, the attic area has heavy fire damage and the fourth floor has a lot of ceiling pulled down so we could access the fire from underneath."
Reports said City Hall will remain closed the rest of the week and main operations will be moved to Central Fire Station on Center Avenue.
"It's absolutely awful. Every room in the building is damaged," Brunner said. "Either smoke damage, or, for the most part, water damage."
View the video player below for complete coverage of the fire at City Hall:
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