Downtown Lufkin Building Evacuated

The work day was interrupted for dozens of employees in the historic Perry Building. The downtown Lufkin landmark had to be evacuated after smoke and haze started filling the five-story structure.

Amanda Norsworthy and Brittany Bujnoch were among the first to get out of the building.

Norsworthy said, "We smelled smoke and we seen some, so we went to go see where it was and we opened the door to the air conditioning room and it was full of smoke."

"We were sitting at our desk and we smelled fire but we didn't know if it was a candle burned out or what, so we had our secretary call 911," said Bujnoch.

The tenants gathered across the street from the Perry Building while firefighters searched each floor for the source of the smoke, a possible fire and other signs of danger.

Lufkin Avenue at First Street was blocked to traffic during the evacuation. Luckily, it turned out to be a minor problem. And less than an hour later, the employees were back to work.

Assistant Fire Chief Duane Freeman said, Upon investigation, all that we could locate was an overheated air conditioning compressor motor. We believe that to be the source of the smoke and the smell. It was no actual fire and there was no damage to the building."

The Perry Building is home to Manhattan's Restaurant and several other businesses. It's located just across from the Lufkin I.S.D. building in Cotton Square.