An odor of smoke prompted the evacuation of several dozen people from the Southern Tier Independence Center building on Binghamton's East Side.

City firefighters were sent to the complex at 135 East Frederick Street at 12:27 p.m. Friday.

A fire department official said an alarm was triggered when a heat pump in the building malfunctioned. He said the device "shorted out."

A slight haze was observed in a conference room but there was no fire.

Agency executive director Maria Dibble was in the building when the alarm sounded. She said some people reported smelling smoke.

Dibble estimated there were between 60 and 70 people inside the facility at the time. They were able to reenter the building shortly after 1 p.m.

The Southern Tier Independence Center has utilized the building at East Frederick and Ely streets since 2008.

Binghamton fire department units at the Southern Tier Independence Center on January 10, 2020. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

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