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Smoke causes evacuation of art center at WMC


Twenty students and instructors were forced to flee Peterson Hall at Western Maryland College when smoke filled the three-story art center about 1:15 p.m. Friday.

Fire officials said an air-handling machine, part of the air-conditioning system, malfunctioned and emitted the smoke on the top level of the recently restored building, which houses the college's art gallery and art classrooms.

No one was injured, and firefighters used a large portable fan to clear the building of smoke.

Units from Westminster, Reese, Pleasant Valley, Manchester and Hampstead were dispatched, and all except those from Westminster were canceled after five minutes.

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