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Fire alarm prompts hundreds to evacuate

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Hundreds of employees in the Cummins Office Building at Third and Jackson streets in downtown Columbus were evacuated Wednesday afternoon.

Workers were instructed to exit from the building after a fire alarm went off at 2 p.m., when temperatures were in the upper 40s.

There was no visible sign of smoke or damage outside the building at 300 Jackson St., and downtown workers were allowed to return within an hour, Columbus Fire Department Capt. Mike Wilson said.

Wednesday’s alarm was likely the result of a minor electrical problem igniting dust in the building’s duct work, with little or no damage reported, Wilson said.

A similar problem occurred in the same building Feb. 12 when smoke from a malfunctioning transformer traveled through a conduit into an electrical room. That earlier mishap took place while electricians were installing new wiring.

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