Rapid City Fire Department responds to fire at CSAC

RAPID CITY, S.D, (KOTA TV) - More than 100 people were forced to evacuate the Rapid City City and School Administration Building.

Around 9:15 on Wednesday morning, 15 firefighters responded to a call about smoke on the second floor. A few police officers blocked both entrances into the building's parking lot.

Fire Chief Rod Seals was in the building with Mayor Steve Allender for a meeting and helped initiate a safe evacuation for about 125 people.

An alarm system did not go off as the evacuation went on by word of mouth.

"Basically, the word went through to start the evacuation of the building. So we went department by department. Got word up to third floor to evacuate. Everyone was ordered to proceed immediately out the front doors and it was done in an orderly calm fashion," Rapid City Communications Coordinator Darrell Shoemaker said.

Crews accessed the ceiling above the second floor and checked the roof. Firefighters found a heat pump with a short in a wire, generating the smoke.

"Working with building maintenance and the Energy Plant they were able to isolate that heat pump and shut it down. After about a half hour we were able to allow everyone back into the building. Routine business for the rest of the day here at CSAC," Rapid City Fire Department Lt. Jim Bussell said.

Twenty-five people were attending the Coffee With Planners meeting on Wednesday but due to the emergency, the meeting will be rescheduled for sometime this month.