Hundreds of workers were forced to evacuate Northumberland County Council offices yesterday afternoon after fire alarms were triggered in the building.
Staff filed out of emergency exits throughout the sprawling County Hall complex in Morpeth and assembled on the grounds surrounding the complex.
They waited in the bright, summer sunshine for almost an hour as a team from Northumberland Fire and Rescue Services entered the building to ensure it was safe.
Council employees were allowed to return once the fire crew had checked there was no fire and no danger to the public.
The false alarm is believed to have been caused as a result of ongoing building work taking place at County Hall offices, but this hasn’t been confirmed.
No-one was hurt or injured in the incident and staff returned to complete their working day.
One evacuee said: “It was probably as good an evacuation as you can get – no-one panicked, everyone filed out quietly and safely and assembled where they were supposed to.
“It was a disruption to the day but at least everyone got a chance to enjoy the sunshine!”
Graeme Anderson, Local Democracy Reporting Service