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Fire out at Buckingham Palace

Smoke was visible Sunday above Buckingham Palace.
Smoke was visible Sunday above Buckingham Palace.  

LONDON, England (CNN) -- Firefighters extinguished a blaze Sunday in the attic of Buckingham Palace, a spokeswoman said.

The extent of the damage has not been assessed, but officials said no one was injured. There was no word yet on what sparked the fire.

The fire broke out above the East Gallery, which leads to the main ballroom. The corridor is used by Queen Elizabeth II during royal functions, and by tourists who visit the palace during the summer months, according to palace spokeswoman Penny Russell-Smith.

Crowds gathered Sunday evening outside the palace as fire trucks and other emergency vehicles drove through the gates.

Firefighters extinguish a blaze in the attic of Buckingham Palace the day before a concert to celebrate the Queen's Golden Jubilee. CNN's Richard Quest reports (June 3)

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The London fire brigade responded to a call from a staff member, who reported a fire in the fourth-floor attic, Russell-Smith said.

The fire broke out as Britons were in the midst of a four-day celebration of the 50-year reign of Queen Elizabeth. Workers were making preparations for a star-studded pop concert and fireworks show that is scheduled for Monday night at the palace. Celebrations were scheduled to go ahead as planned.

The palace was evacuated, but only as a precaution, according to Scotland Yard.

Members of the royal family were not in the palace at the time, authorities said.

Queen Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Philip, were at Windsor Castle earlier Sunday to attend a special church service. The day was set aside for quiet reflection as part of the queen's Golden Jubilee weekend.

Buckingham Palace has been the official London residence for Britain's monarch since 1837, according to the royal Web site, though much of the palace dates back to 1702. It also houses administrative offices.

The public is allowed to tour parts of the palace in August and September.




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