Reports of an electrical fire in the Benewah County Assessor’s Office were exaggerated.

Benewah County dispatch received a call 9:39 a.m. Jan. 5, 2021, in which County Assessor Donna Spier reported that there was an electrical fire in the walls of the office that was causing smoke to enter the office.

However, there was no fire. The smoke was dust from repainting in the courthouse basement. A sander was needed to remove the paint from the concrete walls. The resulting dust and smell made its way through the Assessor’s Office located above the work area.

“It smelled like an electrical fire. We had all this stuff coming up out through the vent, but it was dust,” Ms. Spier said. “I felt dumb for calling it in, but you don’t know and it’s better than to not call it in.”

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