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Fire marshal: General Executive Office fire could've been prevented

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Madison's fire marshal says the May 16th fire that closed a state office building could have been prevented, had a sprinkler system been put in.  

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel quotes Ed Ruckriegel as saying the damage would have been only a few thousand dollars, and no one would have missed work.

Instead, the building that houses the Workforce Development and Children and Families' agencies was expected to be closed for two months. And hundreds of employees have been asked to work from their homes or alternate locations while cleanups and investigations continue.  

Ruckreigel said many state office buildings in Madison and Milwaukee do not have sprinkler systems. That's because they were not required when they were built.  

Now, he said Wisconsinites need to decide if it's better to "pay the money out front and have zero loss, or have something like this happen and we all lose out."  

An initial investigation said there was $350,000 in damage to the General Executive Facility One at its contents -- but officials say a final estimate is not known yet.  

Officials say the fire did not disrupt the agencies' services. 

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)