UPDATED: Downtown bank building evacuated

Dozens of workers in the Wachovia Bank building in downtown Asheville rushed out as firefighters arrived about 4 p.m. Thursday afternoon to investigate a possible fire.

There was no sign of smoke in or around the building. Fire trucks and police vehicles, all with their lights flashing, surrounded the big building bordered by Patton Avenue and College Street. A group of about 10 firefighters entered the building as workers continued to rush out the front entrance.

Asheville Fire Department Division Chief Mike Knisely said a mechanical malfunction in an air handling unit triggered smoke, which was pushed into the second and third floors of the building. Everyone evacuated the building safely, firefighters did a complete check and the building’s fire alarm system was reset, Knisely said.

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