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Firefighters respond to small fire at Toyota’s global r&d center

TOKYO -- Firefighters responded to a small fire at Toyota Motor Corp.’s global r&d center in Toyota City late Friday afternoon, company spokespeople confirmed.

Smoke was detected in an eighth-floor office space of the massive technical center around 4:40 p.m., and all employees were evacuated, a spokesman said. There were no reports of injuries. About 1,300 people work at the center. 

NHK reported that firefighters cleared the smoke and secured the area by shortly after 6 p.m.

A Toyota spokesman said there was a small fire and that firefighters put it out by 7p.m. The fire is not expected to interrupt production, he said. The cause was still being investigated.

Click here for video of the scene from NHK

The spokesman said it was also unclear whether there was any damage to the building, which sits just down the street from Toyota’s global headquarters on the company’s corporate campus.

Video footage from national broadcaster NHK showed firetrucks lined up outside the building, evacuated people milling about outside and fire hoses were running through the streets.

Neither smoke nor flames were visible in the aerial video footage of the scene.  

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