NEW YORK (AP) _ A small garbage fire at Macy's flagship store on Monday forced hundreds to evacuate, but no injuries were immediately reported, authorities said.

The fire, which began in the basement in an old elevator shaft, sent smoke up to the 11th and 12th floors, fire department Capt. Robert Carroll said. The cause was under investigation.

Employees and customers streamed out onto the streets surrounding the store in Herald Square, a dense midtown Manhattan shopping district. Firefighters and police closed some nearby streets to vehicular traffic.

Employees said they saw and smelled smoke and heard an emergency announcement telling them to evacuate the 20-story shopping mecca, a popular tourist destination.

Customer Tina Kofler said she was going to pay for some items on the sixth floor when a cashier told her to get out.

``She said, 'You have to put your merchandise down because we have to evacuate,''' Kofler said.