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Court hearings, cleanup begins at Milwaukee County Courthouse

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - The wheels of justice will start turning again in Milwaukee County Wednesday.

Court hearings will be held for the first time since an electrical fire last Saturday closed both the courthouse and the adjacent Safety Building in downtown Milwaukee.

Jurors are still being told to stay home. Cleanup crews have installed new carpets – and they cleaned or replaced ceiling panels and hard surfaces throughout the Safety Building.

A similar cleanup continues in the courthouse, which is three times as big with a million square feet.

County Executive Chris Abele says the courthouse will not open any sooner than next Monday.

Officials said the main concern was removing carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide fumes fueled by the aftermath from Saturday’s blaze, which occurred in an electric substation in the courthouse basement.

Insurance will pay for a new substation, with the exception of a $75,000 deductible. It’s not still known what the final cost will be for the cleanup and repair work throughout the building.

A consultant’s report from February uncovered numerous problems with electrical and mechanical facilities. Abele says the report will be reviewed.