Richardson firefighters are still assessing all the damage caused from a fire that started on the first floor of Richardson City Hall.
“The fire was there in those offices but as everyone knows, the fire goes up,” said Fire Chief Curtis Poovey. “It penetrated the ceiling hit the hard deck of the second floor and the fire was coming over this way and was over our heads over here.”
Investigators say it was an electrical failure that started the fire.
“And you see all the areas where it looks like water ran down, this is the soot kind of, attaching to the walls and everything you see it here and then when the steam is produced from the firefighting it goes throughout the building and goes down the building like this,” Poovey said.
Not only did the blaze cause a lot of damage to the inside of the building, it’s also changing the way city hall will operate for the time being.
“It’s not looking like weeks; it going to be months of repair and recover efforts that will be under way for City Hall,” said Communications Director Greg Sowell.
General services usually done at City Hall such as paying a water bill or applying for a permit will now be handled at the Ray Noah Municipal Court Building, located at 2100 East Campbell Rd. Signs directing people to the temporary site have been posted around City Hall and online.
“When it gets up and running, when you drive up to city hall you will see a sign that will direct you to the Court,” Sowell said. “We’ll also have signs that will be on the doors to let people know where to go to get those services. When you go into the Court, it will be a little different than what you have at City Hall. But you will walk in, and there will be customer service representatives there, each of them representing a different department for a different service and they will be there to help people out.”
City phone lines were impacted by the fire, but all have been restored. As far as the City’s Brush And Bulky Item Collection, it’s not necessary to request pickups because crews are driving through each zone collecting items until further notice.
“The best way to find out, keep up with what’s going on is really watching the city’s website, watching social media, depending on how you like best to keep up with that type of information but certainly timely, whenever things change that is what we are posting, that kind of information and so we recommend that people look there for any kind of updates as they happen,” Sowell said.