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White Powder Scare at Courthouse Dispatched

DALLAS (CN) - Operations at Frank Crowley Courts Building in downtown Dallas resumed Wednesday after a courtroom was evacuated because of a white powder scare.

Earlier that morning, there were reports that someone had found two envelopes containing white powder inside a courtroom.

Dallas Fire & Rescue officials ultimately found that overheated computer equipment had caused a burning odor in the 203rd Criminal District Court of Judge Teresa Hawthorne.

The odor spread just as someone was opening an envelope, resulting in the scare. That envelope did not contain white powder, according to Fire & Rescue.

Though that courtroom evacuated, the rest of the building did not, deputies for the Dallas County Sheriff's Office said.

Frank Crowley Courts Building is home to several district courts, criminal district courts, county criminal courts, the district attorney's office and the county probation office.

The building has had its share of scares this year. In August, structural damage at adjacent Garage D forced its closure for over a week. In March, a burst pipe flooded the first floor with several inches of water that forced the closure of the building for several days.

Closure of the Crowley building does not affect the George L. Allen Sr. Courts Building, which is located further east on Commerce Street. It houses several district courts, county courts at law, family courts and the 5th District Court of Appeals.

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