Smoke clears Portales courthouse

PNT Staff

The Roosevelt County Courthouse has been closed after smoke was seen coming out the top of the building.

Lance Hill, a battalion chief with the Portales Fire Department, said officials believe a burned motor in the air conditioning unit caused the smoke.
Hill said the courthouse will reopen later today, once the smoke is cleared.

The smoke was reported following a brief power outage just before 10 a.m. today, about 10 minutes before a court hearing was scheduled to begin.

District Judge Drew Tatum said district court emergency planner Vicky Stewart blew an emergency whistle and the building was quickly evacuated.