Smoke prompts evacuation of Natural History Museum


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NEW YORK (AP) — New York's American Museum of Natural History has been evacuated after smoke filled its first floor.

Deputy Fire Chief Joseph Schiralli says air conditioning units that were undergoing maintenance caught fire Friday afternoon, sending smoke through the ventilation system.

Museum officials say there were no injuries. About 4,000 people were ushered out of the building in less than five minutes.

The smoke filled the Hall of Northwest Coast Indians on the first floor. Originally the call was for smoke on the fourth floor.

The museum is scheduled to open Saturday morning. The sprinkler system caused some water damage.

The museum at the edge of Central Park gets about 5 million annual visitors. It has been featured in the popular "Night at the Museum" films.

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