MADISON (WKOW) -- State employees kept out of their offices because of a fire at a Department of Administration building in downtown Madison will return to work Tuesday.
DOA spokesperson Stephanie Marquis said in a statement Monday both Department of Workforce Development and Department of Children and Families staff will be back to work Tuesday. Some employees may continue to work from home for a while longer, while others will be working from an alternate location while the GEF1 building remains closed.
A fire that broke out Friday, May 16 overnight displaced about 1,000 workers from the building on East Washington Avenue. Fire officials say the fire likely started on the fourth floor and caused at least $350,000 in damage. The DOA had previously said the building may have needed to be closed for eight weeks or longer.
All files and materials that were turned in for cleaning are being distributed back to employees so work can be continued. More than 2,000 boxes marked "critical" have been cleaned so far.
Marquis says while some work spaces may not be optimal, officials are working to address concerns and obtain the proper furniture and equipment to allow employees to work.
Throughout the closure, DWD and DCF have continued operating online services as normal.
DOA has gotten some heat from workers concerned they may lose out on hundreds of dollars. The Wisconsin State Journal reported managers told employees to use vacation time or go without pay until new office space would be found but DOA told the paper they'd offer another solution. Some employees said they could not do their work from home.
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