Small elevator fire empties prominent Portland office building

Posted Oct. 10, 2011, at 12:49 p.m.
Last modified Oct. 10, 2011, at 2:21 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — The five-story Post Office Square building was evacuated for about 45 minutes midday Monday as Portland firefighters investigated reports of smoke in an elevator shaft.

A U.S. Post Office is on the first floor of the building across the street from Portland City Hall. Other tenants include law firm Fisher & Phillips LLC, veterinary biotechnology company Putney Inc. and the U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services office.

Michael Gagne, an employee of Kepware Technologies, said a fire alarm went off just prior to noon. He said he didn’t smell smoke, but all 60 employees of the technology company were evacuated.

Because of the Columbus Day holiday, the Post Office and U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services were closed.

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An official with the Portland Fire Department said the cause of the alarm was a small elevator motor fire, and workers were allowed back into the building just after 12:30 p.m. Monday.

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