Small fire sends some state employees home

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A small electrical fire at the Robert E. Lee Building in downtown Jackson sent employees of 12 state agencies home early on Tuesday.

The fire, sparked by faulty elevator wiring around 9 a.m., was contained to an elevator maintenance room and was quickly extinguished by officials. Employees are expected to return to the building Wednesday.

“The quick action of the Capitol Police today diverted what could have been much worse,” said Laura Jackson, executive director of the Department of Finance and Administration. “We’re thankful the occupants responded immediately and no one was hurt this morning.”

The Robert E. Lee Building, a state-owned building, was built in 1930. The fire Tuesday was caused by faulty wiring on an elevator monitoring panel. The elevator system in the building was updated in 2015, a DFA press release said, and officials do not believe the age of the building was a factor.

The 12 agencies based in the building include: the Mississippi Department of Mental Health, the Board of Licensed Professional Counselors, the Board of Registration for Foresters, Office of Capitol Post Conviction Counsel, Offices of Information Technology Services, the Charter School Authorizer Board, the Office of State Public Defender and the Board of Cosmetology.