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Fire sends Maryland lawmakers rushing out of Annapolis bar

A celebration for freshmen members of the Maryland state legislature was evacuated about 11:15 p.m. Thursday when the Annapolis bar in which it was held caught fire.

Gov. Martin O'Malley and House Speaker Michael E. Busch were among at least 50 lawmakers who rushed out of the smoky building.

Four firetrucks arrived at the bar, O'Brien's, on Main Street in Annapolis. It did not appear that anyone was injured.

The fumes from the blaze were apparent on the second floor of the bar. The governor's security noticed the smell and quickly escorted O'Malley to his black SUV.

Upon seeing the governor leave, dozens of lawmakers and lobbyists followed suit.

As lawmakers were leaving, firefighters were hooking up hoses and entering the three-story building.

The event was a celebration for roughly 40 lawmakers members who had just finished their first terms in office. It included a comedic roast of the new members by Busch followed by Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and then brief remarks by the governor, then dancing.

Other attendees included House Minority Leader Anthony J. O'Donnell and Senate Majority Leader Allan H. Kittleman.

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