Sterling Building in downtown Cleveland evacuated due to safety concerns after wall bulges outward

CLEVELAND - A downtown Cleveland building that houses Cuyahoga County's emergency offices was evacuated due to safety concerns after one of the walls appeared to be buckling.

County Executive Ed FitzGerald said employees in the Sterling Building at 1255 Euclid Ave. noticed the wall bowing out at about 11 a.m. Tuesday and pulled the fire alarm to get everyone out of the building as a precaution.

The building hosts the Cuyahoga Emergency Communications System and 911 service. FitzGerald said the calls were transferred seamlessly to a backup location -- and no service was disrupted.

County Chief of Staff Matt Carroll said the weather may have played a role in the wall buckling, and that moisture could be to blame.

A county official told NewsChannel5's Ron Regan that the damage is not structural -- it's just the facade on the outside of the building.

A photo taken by reporter Tracy Carloss shows one section of the exterior wall nearly buckling.

Earlier, Cleveland police said the building experienced structural failure.

As a result of this incident, the RTA Healthline and E-Line Trolley are detouring around the area. According to RTA, its vehicles are taking Prospect as a detour between East 14th and East 9th.

Here is information from the county about CECOMS:
"The Cuyahoga Emergency Communications System (CECOMS) is a 24 hr, 7 day a week, emergency communications system for Cuyahoga County. The CECOMS is responsible for maintaining the status of hospitals in Cuyahoga County relative to their capability to receive patients transported by EMS. The purpose of this web-based system is to provide this information to EMS and hospitals for quick reference and eliminates calling CECOMS on the telephone to obtain the information."

NewsChannel5 has a crew at the scene. Keep checking newsnet5.com for more information.

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