Equipment Fires Cause Evacuation of Government Printing Office

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    Firefighters extinguished several small equipment fires that caused the evacuation of the U.S. Government Printing Office Friday afternoon.

    The fires apparently started Friday afternoon in a shredder used to process waste paper for recycling, D.C. fire department spokesman Pete Piringer said. The machine is connected to upper floors through a chute that allows paper to flow through, Piringer said.

    Fires started on the third and fifth floors and the loading dock.

    Streets were closed in the area but have been reopened. People have allowed back in to the building.

    Printing office officials believe static electricity ignited dust in the equipment, causing the fire, Piringer said.