A number of citizens and businesses in Sioux Falls have fallen victim recently to a series of prank emergency evacuation calls.

The erroneous calls are prompting people to evacuate buildings or asking them to turn on their fire alarm.

According to Sioux Falls Fire Chief Jim Sideras, Sioux Falls Fire Rescue will not call citizens or businesses to start an evacuation, nor will they contact companies to initiate a fire alarm.

Sideras said, "We don't call. We show up," he said. "We've never had this happen that I know of. It's some prank, but it's gotten severe enough that people don't know what to do. It's of malicious nature."

However, Sideras does recommend that citizens still evacuate a building should a fire alarm sound.

Authorities ask that anyone who receives a call of this nature, write down the number that appears on your caller ID and report it to the police non-emergency line at 605-367-7212.

Be advised that reporting a false alarm is considered a class 1 misdemeanor with a penalty of one year in a county jail, a $2,000 fine or both. Reporting a false alarm that results in injury or death is considered a class 5 felony, which could result in five years in a the state penitentiary and a possible $10,000 fine.

Source: Argus Leader

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