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Small fire extinguished at Sacramento Bee press room

February 24, 2011 | 11:03 am

A small fire broke out in the press room of the Sacramento Bee newspaper Thursday but was extinguished without incident, city firefighters said.

The 8:45 a.m. fire forced an evacuation of the building at 21st and Q streets and was apparently ignited by a spark from a welding job on new equipment installed in the room where the printing presses are housed, said Community Affairs Director Pam Dinsmore.

Smoke worked its way into the building’s heating and air-conditioning system, spreading smoke to other areas of the building. Workers in the press room were able to quickly put out the fire themselves before firefighters arrived, but there was still a lot of heavy smoke, Dinsmore said.

At least 200 people were evacuated while firefighters responded to the fire. Bee publisher Cheryl Dell was on scene helping to coordinate the evacuation, Dinsmore said.

A small amount of smoke from the fire could be seen coming from the building housing the presses. The fire briefly reached a portion of the attic, officials said.

Firefighters with chainsaws and pry bars used a ladder truck to climb to the top of the press building to gain access to the roof, according to the Sacramento Bee.

Employees were allowed back in by 10 a.m., Dinsmore said. There was no damage to the presses and Friday’s edition will publish as planned.

A section of Q Street near 21st was closed as firefighters continued to mop up and investigate the scene. It has since reopened, Dinsmore said.

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-- Nate Jackson

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