Kimberly P. Yow

Kimberly P. Yow

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New York courthouse evacuated due to arson following Trump case testimony

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The courthouse in New York City where former President Donald Trump’s civil business fraud trial has been taking place was briefly evacuated Wednesday, hours after testimony concluded, when a man set papers on fire and then doused them with a fire extinguisher, officials said.

Firefighters arrived at the New York State Supreme Court Building in lower Manhattan shortly after 4 p.m. Wednesday to respond to an alarm on the fourth floor. There was a visible haze in the stairwell between the third and fourth floor, according to an Associated Press reporter who was asked to leave the building.

A man was arrested after setting fire to some documents, said court spokesperson Al Baker. He did not release further details, but said the incident is under investigation. Those who evacuated were allowed to return shortly afterward. No injuries were reported.

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Officials didn’t immediately identify the man who was arrested.

The evacuation came hours after the conclusion of testimony in Trump’s civil fraud trial case, which has played out on the building’s third floor for nearly three months. Among those evacuated was Judge Arthur Engoron, who has presided over the trial.

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Trump was not in the building Wednesday. Lawyers in the case are scheduled to make their closing arguments next month.

The courthouse, with its Corinthian columns and wide front steps, is recognizable to many for its frequent appearances in movies and television shows, including “Law & Order” and “Night Court.”

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