Confusion signals false alarm at ComEd facility
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A concerned ComEd customer sparked a massive police response and evacuation Tuesday morning in Oakbrook Terrace over a misunderstanding about a fire drill.
ComEd spokesman John Schoen said a woman was on the phone with customer service at ComEd in the One Lincoln Center building near Butterfield and Tower Road when the fire alarm went off.
"We had a preplanned fire drill, just a regular fire drill, and one of our customer service representatives was speaking with a customer on the phone when the drill started," Schoen said. "It was a big misunderstanding. The customer thought there was a bigger emergency going on and called 911, sending numerous police and fire personnel to the location."
York Center Fire Protection District Chief Andy Bonomo said his department was helping ComEd conduct its annual fire drill when the confusion began .
"We were there doing a building evacuation and fire drill that we do on a yearly basis," he said. "We got a phone call from dispatch saying they had a report of shots fired in the building. After that, the (police) responded and took over the incident."
According to the Sun-Times Media Wire, however, Oakbrook Terrace police Chief Wayne Holakovsky said the customer called police at 10:03 a.m. and reported she had been told by the ComEd representative that shots were fired in the building.
Holakovsky said police arrived and checked each of building's 11 floors and closets but found nothing.
Schoen said the building houses 1,300 ComEd employees, but he was unsure how many were on site during the evacuation.
"Our employees evacuated immediately and were let back in around 12:30 p.m.," Schoen said. "The whole thing was only a couple of hours."
The police and fire response also led to the temporary closure of roads around the office complex on Trans Am Plaza Drive off Butterfield Road.
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