The Nevada Supreme Court building in Carson City was closed again Tuesday, and will stay closed through noon Wednesday, because of lingering odors from a Saturday malfunction of a hydraulic pump for a public elevator that spread oily smoke throughout the three-story courthouse.
The courthouse was closed Monday and staff returned Tuesday morning, only to be informed shortly before 10 a.m. that the building was again being closed as a precaution because of residual odors. The odors were particularly noticeable in the third floor area where the justices’ chambers are located and in the garage, where the elevator operating equipment overheated.
Fans will continue to purge fumes from the building Tuesday and Wednesday morning while cleanup crews continue to wash surface areas of oily residue from the smoke.
Chief Justice William Maupin wants to ensure that all odors are gone before the building reopens. On Wednesday morning, all air filters in the building will be removed or replaced.
The court building initially was evacuated Saturday morning after the malfunction sent smoke throughout the courthouse. Only three employees were in it at the time – two staff attorneys and a law clerk for Justice Michael Cherry. There was never any fire and no employees were at risk. On a normal day, more than 110 employees work in the building.
Exhaust fans were brought in to remove the smoke and cleaning crews worked over the weekend to remove the oily residue the smoke left behind. But late Sunday, lingering odors remained and Chief Justice Maupin decided the building should be closed on Monday while the repair work and odor removal continued. After staff complained of residual odors on Tuesday morning, the building was again closed.
The incident caused no permanent damage and no court documents were affected.
The elevator, one of two off the Supreme Court’s main lobby, is expected to be repaired within a few days.
Chief Justice Maupin ordered that deadlines would be extended for briefs that were supposed to be filed by Monday or Tuesday.