Anchorage's Atwood Building closed after mechanical failure

Michelle Theriault Boots

Anchorage's Atwood Building was closed Monday after fire suppression equipment accidentally discharged, triggering an evacuation for more than 1,200 state workers whose offices are housed there.

All employees have been sent home and told to report to work on Tuesday, said state Department of Administration spokesman Andy Mills.

A plumber doing maintenance in an IT room accidentally set off the fire suppression equipment, which released a foam, Mills said.

The building was evacuated as a "precautionary measure" and workers were told to go home around noon, he said.

State employees will still get paid for today, Mills said.

The 20-story Atwood Building, at 550 W. Seventh Ave. in downtown Anchorage, houses state government offices including the Department of Corrections and Department of Natural Resources.

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