Residents of Mendenhall Towers were briefly evacuated Monday, May 17, while Capital City Fire/Rescue investigated smoke that had appeared, possibly from an electrical fire. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

Residents of Mendenhall Towers were briefly evacuated Monday, May 17, while Capital City Fire/Rescue investigated smoke that had appeared, possibly from an electrical fire. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

Mendenhall Tower Apartments briefly evacuated for smoke

An electrical fault in a light was suspected.

Smoke from an uncertain source caused a temporary evacuation of the Mendenhall Tower Apartments on Monday afternoon.

Capital City Fire/Rescue investigated as the Juneau Police Department blocked off the street.

“Somebody called the fire station because they saw smoke,” said assistant fire chief Ed Quinto of CCFR in a phone interview. “We’re thinking it’s the light ballast. We’re thinking it might be an electrical issue.”

A light ballast is part of a fluorescent light that regulates the current to the light, keeping it from overheating and burning out.

Residents were evacuated while CCFR investigated the cause, Quinto said. Residents were readmitted once the building was certified safe.

“Multiple people pulled the fire alarm so we’re resetting the alarm,” Quinto said.

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

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