Federal Courthouse in Little Rock to Get New Window After Fire

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Officials say that confusion over a lockbox appears to be the reason why firefighters broke through a window to fight a blaze last month in a brand-new courthouse annex in downtown Little Rock.

The annex opened in September.  The next-door courthouse caught fire December 18 after workers' torches ignited combustible materials in the cooling tower.  Fire department officials say that smoke and flames billowed from the tower, making the fire appear much worse than it actually was.

Firefighters broke into the annex to fight the blaze.  Typically, keys are available in a lockbox, known as a "Knox-box" - that only the fire department can open, but officials say the lockbox had been moved shortly before the fire.

Officials say it'll cost about $8,000 to replace the full-length window.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)