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Smoke forces evacuation of White House West Wing

Sunday - 5/12/2013, 11:52am  ET

District of Columbia Fire department trucks and personnel are seen parked between the The Eisenhower Executive Office Building and the West Wing as they respond to a call at the White House, Saturday, May 11, 2013, in Washington. The West Wing including the media area were evacuated because of smoke according to Secret Service Uniformed Division. Journalists were sent outside shortly after 7 a.m. while firefighters inspected the West Wing. They were allowed back into the building about an hour later. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Reporters and photographers were evacuated briefly from the West Wing of the White House early Saturday because of smoke from an overheated transformer in a mechanical room.

President Barack Obama and his family were not affected by the incident, according to the White House.

U.S. Secret Service spokesman Max Milien said that at about 7 a.m., smoke was seen coming from a mechanical room closet on the first floor.

Journalists and others were evacuated out of "an abundance of caution" and the District of Columbia fire department was called, he said.

People were allowed back into the building about an hour later.

No injuries were reported.


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