A smoky basement fire has forced the evacuation and closure of a New York City courthouse and postponed rap star Lil Wayne's sentencing in a gun case.

Courts spokesman David Bookstaver says Manhattan's main criminal courthouse shut down for the day Tuesday because of a midmorning fire. He says it apparently started in a wooden contractor's shed.

More than 1,000 people were forced to leave the building. The Fire Department says eight people suffered minor injuries, including five firefighters. Court officers were seen helping a woman with an oxygen mask walk out of the courthouse.

Lil Wayne had been expected to be sentenced Tuesday afternoon to a year in jail. He pleaded guilty in October to attempted criminal possession of a weapon.

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