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EU Commission Headquarters Evacuated Due To Fire

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -- The headquarters of the EU's executive European Commission in Brussels was evacuated on May 18 due to a fire, a commission spokesman said.

There were no reports of any injuries, a fire brigade official said, adding that the blaze appeared to have started in the basement of the building.

"There's black smoke coming out the top [of the building]. It looks like it's maybe under control, there's less smoke than there was a few minutes ago," said the commission spokesman, Joseph Hennon. He had no information on any casualties.

A Reuters witness saw Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia, and Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes being escorted out by security staff and police.

Around eight fire engines were at the scene and smoke was billowing from the roof of the Berlaymont building, the Reuters witness said.