Smoke from controlled burn causes evacuation at Ann Arbor City Hall

NAP staff hold a controlled burn demo at the Leslie Science and Nature Center on Feb. 22, 2018 (Photo: Meredith Bruckner)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – On Thursday afternoon, Larcom City Hall had to be evacuated due to smoke from a controlled ecological burn at West Park.

High wind conditions -- with gusts up to 31 mph -- carried the smoke to the downtown Ann Arbor building, causing the evacuation, Ann Arbor Fire Department officials said on social media.

The building, at 301 E. Huron St., houses Larcom City Hall, the 15th District Court, the Ann Arbor City Clerk Office, and the Justice Center.

The evacuation happened just before 3 p.m., officials said.

Firefighters put out the controlled burn at West Park, which is half a mile west of City Hall.

Ecological burns are routinely conducted around Ann Arbor to remove dead foliage and promote the growth of native plants.

The West Park burn was one of two burns planned for Thursday by the Washtenaw County Office of Water Resources Commissioner, per a press release.

After the City Hall incident, firefighters responded to another alarm at 5:40 p.m.

This time, firefighters found the Holiday Inn & Suites hotel at 3155 Boardwalk Dr. full of smoke.

Fire department officials said the smoke was caused by “an improperly discarded cigarette” which had lit mulch on fire on the side of the hotel.

Saws were used to cut holes into the building to check for fire and fans helped to remove the smoke.

About the Author:

Sarah has worked for WDIV since June 2018. She covers community events, good eats and small businesses in Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from Grand Valley State University.