Smoke Coming From Manhole Near Westside Pavilion Leads to Theater, Mall Evacuation

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Smoke coming from a sidewalk manhole near Westwood and Pico boulevards led to an evacuation of Landmark Theatres at Westside Pavilion Sunday morning. This photo of the intersection is from 2007. (Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

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Amovie theater and part of the Westside Pavilion mall was evacuated Sunday morning as authorities were trying to determine the cause of smoke coming out of a nearby underground power vault.

At about 9 a.m., officials received a report of smoke coming out of a sidewalk manhole near the intersection of Westwood and Pico boulevards, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Power to the three-story building next to the vault housing the theater was shut off, and the building was evacuated as a precaution, fire spokesman Shawn Lenske said.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Water and Power said the smoke may be coming from insulation surrounding electric wiring. Crews were on the scene making repairs in the vault, spokeswoman Kim Hughes said.

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