National

Mar 2, 2010 11:40 AM

Smoky courthouse evacuated

Hundreds of people have been evacuated from a New York City courthouse because of a smoky basement fire.  Courts spokesman David Bookstaver says it apparently started in a wooden contractor's shed.

The building in Lower Manhattan was evacuated at around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.  A woman was helped outside with an oxygen mask over her face.  Her arms were around court officers' shoulders. The lobby was filled with a haze. A light plume of yellow-brown smoke could be see near the roof. In addition to courtrooms for criminal proceedings, the building houses offices for prosecutors and other government entities.  Mirasol Caramuna had traveled an hour from her Bronx home to pay a traffic ticket. Then she was ordered out of the building.  Caramuna says she could smell smoke on the mezzanine-like second floor.

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