OGDEN -- Some downtown retail stores got an unexpected infusion of cold, hard cash Wednesday morning from frigid workers evacuated from the Weber Center.
Dozens of Weber County employees were forced to leave their offices a little before 10 a.m. when a ballast in a fluorescent light near the first-floor entrance of the center, at 2380 Washington Blvd., malfunctioned.
The malfunction produced light smoke, prompting response from 11 firefighters in three fire trucks, a rescue vehicle and an ambulance, said Steve Splinter, a battalion chief with the Ogden Fire Department. There were no reports of fire or damage.
When the going got tough for some Weber County employees, who patiently waited outside in the cold, the tough went shopping.
Several workers visited stores along the east side of Washington Boulevard to get warm and buy Christmas presents.
Jeaneen Smith, who works in the Weber County Recorder's Office, walked up the block to Recreation Outlet, 2324 Washington Blvd., and purchased a portable grill.
"I'm worried that I should have punched out (on the time clock)," she said with a chuckle following her shopping excursion.
Karla Little, her co-worker, also purchased several beanies from the store.
Jason Dasher, manager of Recreation Outlet, said he was pleased to see so many customers, many of whom were Weber County employees, at the store that early in the day.
"We don't normally have that kind of rush," he said. "It (the evacuation of the Weber Center) spurred a little business."
Employees were permitted to return to work at the Weber Center shortly before 11 a.m.
Weber Center evacuated; no fire found
OGDEN -- The Weber Center, 2380 Washington Blvd. Ogden, was evacuated today at 10 a.m.
Employees reported a strong odor of smoke on first floor of the building, which is the home of the Weber County government.
Ogden Fire Department responded to the fire alarm and is checking for fire.