Downtown Express photos by J.B. Nicholas
Courthouse closed after fire
A fire in the basement of the Manhattan Criminal Court forced hundreds to evacuate the 100 Centre St. building around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday and delayed the sentencing of rapper Lil’ Wayne on illegal gun possession. The fire started accidentally, from faulty electrical wiring for temporary construction lighting, the F.D.N.Y. said Wednesday. Eight people suffered minor injuries: five firefighters, two civilians and one prisoner. Many of the evacuated court workers gathered in Columbus Park late Tuesday morning while they waited to find out whether they could go back to work. Some shrugged off the potential danger and were glad to relax in the mild March weather, but one court interpreter said the thick smoke reminded her of 9/11. “This is scary,” said the middle-aged woman, who did not give her name. The courthouse remained closed Wednesday and it was unclear when it would reopen.