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Fire Breaks Out At Financial District Building Damaged By Sandy

(credit: CBS 2)

(credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A fire broke out Friday morning at an office skyscraper in Lower Manhattan that was badly damaged by Superstorm Sandy.

The fire was reported around 9 a.m. in the basement at 55 Water Street in the Financial District.

The fire broke out as electricians tried to restore power to the building for the first time since Sandy, CBS 2’s Amy Dardashtian reported. The fire apparently sparked as soon as crews flipped the power switch.

“We’re pretty certain that the cause of the fire was a result of the flooding that occurred here,” a fire official said.

The building was filled with cleanup crews, elevator operators and electricians who were all working to get the building operational.

About 200 people had to be evacuated from the building, Dardahstian reported.

“The building engineers basically said, ‘Everybody get out,’” one witness said. “Smoke was running right through the stairway so we ran out as fast as we could.”

Nearly 30 people were treated for minor injuries, including smoke inhalation, Dardashtian reported. One man also complained of chest pains.

The 54-story tower houses the offices of several companies and agencies including Standard & Poor’s, EmblemHealth and the city Department of Transportation.