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Milwaukee County courthouse damaged by fire

MILWAUKEE (WSAU-Wheeler News)   The Milwaukee County Courthouse is closed until at least Wednesday, in the aftermath of a weekend electrical fire. It occurred Saturday afternoon in a large utility room in the basement. Damage was estimated at just over a half-million dollars.

County Executive Chris Abele said some of the electrical equipment in the courthouse is quote, “older than it probably should be.” Fire officials said an electrical system failed, and the blaze was ruled an accident. It knocked out power in much of downtown Milwaukee for at least a short time on Saturday. Milwaukee sheriff’s dispatchers had to move to neighboring Waukesha County to field 9-1-1 calls. Abele said public safety was never compromised, and it’s not known how the long the arrangement will last.

The courthouse jail is still open, using backup generators.

Adult court has been called off today and tomorrow. Those with scheduled appearances are being told to report on the same day next week. The Children’s Court is still on.

About a-thousand Milwaukee courthouse employees will still get paid – but they won’t work unless their managers want them.