Just before 8:42 a.m. Sault Ste. Marie Fire Services responded to a phone call from alarm company after smoke was detected at Roberta Bondar Place.
Platoon chief Jeff Lajoie said that someone in the building used a fire alarm pull station after they detected a burning odour.
As per the building's protocol, about 1,000 people were evacuated said security guards.
Many of the evacuated employees waited around across the street in front of Roberta Bondar Pavilion and the MS Norgoma while firefighters inspected the building.
Firefighters were able to pinpoint the cause of the problem to a motor failure on an 'air handling unit' located in southeast wing of the building said Lajoie.
Firefighters set up fans to ventilate that wing.
At around 9:55 a.m. people began to flood back into the building.