First look inside damaged courthouse


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First look inside damaged courthouse

By Lacey Crisp. CREATED Jul 9, 2013 - UPDATED: Jul 9, 2013

MILWAUKEE -- Generators are parked on 10th Street providing power to the Milwaukee County Courthouse and Safety Building so crews can get in there and begin the daunting task of cleaning the one million square foot building.  We got our first look inside on Tuesday.

Dozens of workers filed into the Milwaukee County Courthouse to continue the massive clean-up project after a fire started in the basement on Saturday night.

We still don’t know what caused the fire, but the courthouse does not have a sprinkler system, and a February building inspection report said the power system is 47 years old and is approaching or beyond its life expectancy.

Temporary cleaning and restoration crews are going through the painstaking process to clean every inch of the courthouse and safety building.

Cleaning products and brooms lined hallways, as did fans to force the smoky air out.

Every tile in the courthouse has to be removed.  Crews wearing masks went room by room clearing out the smoke-filled debris.

They will have to rebuild much of the wiring in the basement where the fire started, which means the courthouse will be powered by generators possibly for weeks.