DOUGLAS COUNTY—There were no injuries from a fire at the law enforcement center in Lawrence late Tuesday.
Just before 11p.m. crews responded to a fire alarm at the Douglas County Judicial and Law Enforcement Center at 111 East 11th Street in Lawrence, according to Fire Chief Richard Llewellyn.
This facility houses several Douglas County departments, including the District Attorney, Emergency Communications Center (ECC), Court Services and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.
While initial units were responding, the incident was upgraded to a “Confirmed Structure Fire” and additional resources were dispatched.
First responders encountered significant smoke in the basement of the building. Following a thorough search in low visibility conditions, firefighters located a fire that was contained by a single activated fire sprinkler head.
Crews put the fire out and then searched the rest of the building for fire extension and to ensure that no victims were present.
Douglas County’s Emergency Communications Center (ECC) continued to operate throughout this incident, both receiving incoming 911 calls and dispatching resources as appropriate. Dispatchers monitored ongoing fire operations in the building and worked through an audible fire alarm which remained activated for an extended time period.
Investigators determined the fire occurred in the jury deliberation room for the Division 7 Court Room in the basement of the Douglas County Judicial and Law Enforcement Center.
The room had experienced water damage from a sprinkler head that was damaged during recent freezing temperatures. The fire was determined to be accidental due to an electrical/mechanical malfunction of a fan that had been left running in the room to assist with the drying process. No injuries were reported.