A malfunctioning rooftop heating unit filled the Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit (TCAT) building with smoke on Ithaca’s northside early Monday morning, according to the Ithaca Fire Department.
Lt. Thomas T. Basher Jr. at Ithaca Fire Department tells us a patrolling police officer called the Tompkins County 911 center at about 4:45am to report smoke coming from the TCAT building on Willow Avenue, and assisted with an evacuation.
Basher says firefighters searched inside the building for a cause of the smoke, and TCAT maintenance personnel directed crews to the heating unit on the roof, where smoke was heaviest.
According to the fire department, the cause of the smoke was “a burnt out belt that caught the filter on fire.” Ithaca Fire Department personnel were on the scene for about an hour, making sure the fire was out and hadn’t spread.
There are no TCAT schedule changes on Monday due to the fire.