The following is a republished press release from the Ithaca Fire Department and NOT written by The Ithaca Voice. To submit community announcements directly to The Voice, email

A fire in a heating unit at Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit filled the building with smoke Monday morning in the City of Ithaca.

An Ithaca Police Officer on patrol in the area called into Tompkins County 911 around 4:45 a.m. stating that there was smoke coming from the building at 737 Willow Ave. When firefighters arrived minutes later the building was being evacuated and they set up a ladder truck to gain access to the roof.

Firefighters searched inside the structure for the cause while other firefighters checked the roof for fire. TCAT maintenance personnel directed crews to a heating unit in the ceiling where the smoke was heaviest.

The device was opened up and the cause of the smoke appeared to be a burnt out belt that caught the filter on fire. There was no fire spread outside of the unit. Power and gas were shut off to the fan and the building was turned back over to TCAT, who had a contractor coming in to repair it.

Firefighters were on the scene for about an hour confirming the fire was out and had not spread to other areas. TCAT buses and the schedule were not impacted by the fire.

Ithaca Police and Bangs Ambulance assisted at the scene.

All photo provided by the Ithaca Fire Department.