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Fire breaks out at State Dept., 3 seriously hurt

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November 24, 2012 11:14 PM EST | AP

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WASHINGTON — Authorities say a fire broke out at the State Department headquarters in Washington, seriously injuring three maintenance workers.

D.C. Fire and EMS spokesman Lon Walls said the fire started at around 11 a.m. Saturday in the ductwork on the 7th floor. Workers were able to put out the fire before firefighters arrived, but not before three people had suffered burns.

Walls said one person suffered life-threatening injuries and two others had serious but non-life-threatening injuries. All three were taken to Washington Hospital Center.

State department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the fire began during routine maintenance to a mechanical area of the building. She said the building was briefly evacuated and then reopened.