Evacuated: Milwaukee Fire Department called to Northwestern Mutual building

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The Northwestern Mutual building in downtown Milwaukee was evacuated Wednesday morning, November 26th after smoke entered the building.

Officials say smoke from Northwestern Mutual's construction site entered Northwestern Mutual's south building at 720 E. Wisconsin Ave. around 8:00 a.m. That triggered alarms to the Milwaukee Fire Department.

We're told a fire was located inside an electrical vault.

"We ended up extinguishing the vast majority of the fire with carbon dioxide extinguishers which we don't have enormous amounts of and we'd love to use water, hundreds of feet from the lake here, but water and electricity are a bad mix," Milwaukee Fire Department Deputy Chief Aaron Lipski said.

As a precaution, employees from that south building were evacuated to another part of the Northwestern Mutual campus. There were no injuries.

Fire officials say some torch work was being done for construction of their new building, and it is believed a spark from that is what caused the fire. It took most of the morning to clear the smoke from the building.

Northwestern Mutual has issued this statement to FOX6 News:

“Earlier (Wednesday) morning, smoke from our construction site entered our south building located at 720 E. Wisconsin Avenue, triggering alarms to the Milwaukee Fire Department. As a precaution, we evacuated employees from that building to another part of our campus. There were no injuries. The issue has been resolved, and our employees will soon be back inside the building.”