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False alarm sparks evacuations

If you’re wondering why Glenwood Springs firefighters have rushed to an evacuated Garfield County Courthouse two days in a row, rest assured, there was no fire. A false alarm disrupted court and county business both Thursday and Friday mornings after dust from construction in the fourth floor probation office triggered a smoke alarm near the elevator. Glenwood Fire Department Lt. Dave Reinhold said there was no fire in the building, which was evacuated for about 15 minutes on Friday around 9 a.m.The fourth floor probation office is being remodeled, and construction crews are removing drywall, using the building’s elevator to transport it outside. The probation office has temporarily relocated to the third floor next to the District Attorney’s office until construction is complete. The newly remodeled office could reopen by Aug. 1, Chief Probation Officer Shawnee Barnes said. She said the evacuations have been extremely disruptive to court proceedings because it’s difficult to reconvene court during sentencing hearings. “It makes everyone very nervous,” she said. “Sometimes defendants don’t show up again.”The probation office is part of the original courthouse, and was the only area of the building that hadn’t been remodeled in recent years. The new offices will make extra room for the growing probation office, Barnes said. “So, we’re excited.”Contact Bobby Magill: 945-8515, ext. 520bmagill@postindependent.com


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