JERSEY CITY — Popcorn smoldering in a microwave oven caused the evacuation of hundreds of people, including prisoners, from the Hudson County Administration Building in Jersey City this afternoon.
A source told The Jersey Journal popcorn being heated triggered the alarm and a recorded message broadcast throughout the building ordering the evacuation into the cold and breezy weather at about 1:15 p.m.
Sheriff’s officers pushed everyone across the street from the building and took up positions around the perimeter of the building located at Newark and Oakland avenues.
Inmates in the building for court appearances were quickly driven away in the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office prisoner transportation bus and taken to “an undisclosed” and safe location, as per procedure.
Roads were blocked off by cruisers, at least one Port Authority Police vehicle responded and at least one Jersey City Fire Department Truck responded and was stayed on the scene for a while.
At about 1:38 p.m. sheriff’s officers told frigid building employees they could re-enter the building and all others who had evacuated then followed.
A court official confirmed that smoke from food being cooked in a microwave had triggered the alarm, but he said he did not know what type of food was being cooked.