An electrical fire at the Baltimore Fire Department’s downtown headquarters prompted the building to be evacuated Thursday morning, the department said.

No one was injured, and the exact origin of the fire is being investigated, department spokeswoman Blair Skinner said. The 85,000-square-foot office building, at 401 E. Fayette St., near City Hall, also houses the city’s finance and information technology departments. It was built in 1981, according to state records.


The smoke appeared to have originated on one of the floors above the Fire Department’s mezzanine-level offices, Skinner said.

Still, the irony of a fire alarm at the Fire Department wasn’t lost on her.

“What’re the odds?” she said, with a laugh. “The benefit of working for the Fire Department is that everyone is aware the the proper escape plan. We all made it down the stairwell safely.”

The department’s response time, Skinner said, wasn’t an issue.

In addition to the fire chiefs within the building, firefighters responded “within a matter of minutes,” she said.

The city last year was pursuing the replacement of outdated fire alarm systems at the Police Department’s nearby headquarters, at 601 E. Fayette St., and Central District Station, at 500 E. Baltimore St.

“The existing fire alarm system is outdated and certain parts of the system do not appear to be functioning, which prevents the City from performing a smoke and heat sensor test to get the State’s approval of the system,” the Department of General Services wrote in documents provided to Board of Estimates in November.

That effort followed “critical repairs” in 2015 to ensure “continued functionality and operation of the system in the case of a fire,” said Ryan P. Trout, a spokesman for the general services department.

“DGS has prepared a design for the replacement of all systems in the building and will soon be accepting bids to replace all of the existing systems in Police Headquarters and Central District with one integrated alarm system,” Trout said.

That project is expected to cost roughly $5.1 million, according to the documents.

Baltimore Sun reporter Ian Duncan contributed to this article.