Authorities say that a small fire that broke out in an office cubicle caused water and smoke damage to multiple floors of the Galveston County Justice Center.
The fire took place at around 9.45 p.m. Saturday in a cubicle of the District Clerk’s Office on the third floor of the Galveston County Justice Administration Center. Galveston Fire Chief Charles Olsen said that the fire could have been worse if not for the fire suppression system in the building, which is located in the 600 block of 59th Street in Galveston.
The system helped keep the fire under control and kept the damage to a minimum.
According to District Clerk John Kinard, the building will be temporarily closed in view of the damages on several floors of their Justice Center. He, however, did not say as to when the Galveston County Justice Center would be able to resume normal operations. Jury duty is also canceled through the end of the week, Kinard added.
Fire chief Olsen added that they had a hard time locating the exact location of the fire and the existence of the building’s fire suppression system somehow kept the fire from spreading.
Arson investigators hinted the possibility of a faulty electrical system as the probable cause of the incident.
A check at the structure by the fire marshals showed significant smoke and water damages on the first three floors of the building. The fourth floor yielded minor smoke damages.
A damage remediation company is assessing the damage to the building to determine the extent of the repairs, said county communications director Zach Davidson.
“We have existing jurors that are scheduled to report later in the week. They are not canceled yet,” Kinard said, adding: “The judge of that court will make a determination and we will notify them via text, email or phone call.”
Officials started forming a team for the clean-up. However, they have yet to determine how long the facility would remain closed.