(NEW YORK) — The New York City Fire Department said 17 people sustained minor injuries on Wednesday afternoon after some papers were set on fire and extinguished in the lower Manhattan courthouse hosting former President Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial, though a source told ABC News the incident did not appear to be related to the case or its participants.
The small fire led to three floors of the courthouse being evacuated, according to a spokesperson for the Office of Court Administration.
The injuries are believed to have been caused due to exposure to the irritants from the fire extinguisher, sources said.
Two of the injured — a sergeant and a court officer — were transported to New York Downtown Hospital for observation, the spokesperson said. The other 15 individuals, 14 of whom were court officers, refused medical attention on the scene, according to the FDNY. The two taken to the hospital have been released.
The incident remains under investigation, according to the Office of Court Administration.
“Preliminary information indicates that at approximately 4:15 pm today, an individual depressed a fire-extinguisher on the fourth floor at 60 Centre Street to douse a fire he had set to papers,” Office of Court Administration spokesperson Al Baker said in a statement. “The New York Fire Department responded. Three floors of the courthouse were evacuated. There are no serious injuries reported. The incident is being investigated and the individual is in custody.”
FDNY said it was alerted to the incident with a report of a suspicious odor. The fire extinguisher was discharged and there were fumes.
An individual who set papers on fire was taken into custody but no information was immediately available on their identity or any potential charges.
An attorney who was appearing on the third floor during the incident, Marcy Katz of Pryor Cashman LLP, said she heard screaming and smelled smoke before a court officer instructed everyone to rush down the stairs and out of the building.
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