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Firefighters Battle Fire at NBC Headquarters; Eight Injured

October 10, 1996

NEW YORK (AP) _ A fire at the 70-story GE building that houses NBC’s headquarters created heavy smoke, forced employees to evacuate and injured at least eight people early today.

More than 300 firefighters battled the blaze, which was believed to have started in a 10th-floor electrical closet at the TV studios of local affiliate WNBC.

The fire knocked out NBC’s regular programming for the New York area, Beth Comstock, a network spokeswoman said. She had no further details.

Eight people were treated for smoke inhalation at the scene, fire officials said. Nobody was seriously injured.

The blaze was contained between the fifth and 10th floor but was difficult to fight because it was running through the building’s electrical systems, said Donald Burns, the fire department’s chief of operations.

``We are trying to isolate this so we don’t have to shut down the whole building,″ Burns said. ``As soon as we cut the power to problem areas, we’ll be under control.″

Fred Syvertsen, a maintenance worker, said he got a complaint about smoke from personnel on the seventh floor shortly before 4 a.m.

``We went down to the fifth and smoke coming out of the vents big time,″ Syvertsen said. ``That’s when we decided to get out.″

The GE Building, at Rockefeller Center in Manhattan, also houses the famous Rainbow Room restaurant.

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