17 people hurt after man sets papers on fire at NY courthouse hosting Trump civil trial: officials

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Thursday, December 14, 2023
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LOWER MANHATTAN, Manhattan (WABC) -- Nearly a half-dozen people suffered minor injuries after a small fire was started by someone burning court papers inside the New York courthouse where former President Donald Trump's civil fraud trial is being heard.

Firefighters arrived at the New York State Supreme Court building located at 60 Centre Street in Lower Manhattan shortly after 4 p.m. Wednesday to respond to a report of a suspicious odor.

Preliminary information provided by a court spokesperson said that a man used a fire extinguisher on the fourth floor to douse a fire he had set to court papers.

Firefighters evacuated three floors of the courthouse.

FDNY officials say 17 people suffered minor injuries, two of which were taken to a hospital downtown. The rest refused medical attention.

The man who set fire to the documents was arrested, according to court spokesperson Al Baker. Officials didn't immediately identify the man.

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.

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

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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