Fire extinguished in Hobart library

STAFF and patrons were forced to evacuate the State Library in Hobart this morning after a fire ignited in a light fitting.

The flame occured in the public library section of the multi-storey Murray Street building about 10.45am.

Staff called emergencies after the blaze activated an alarm.

Tasmania Fire Service Hobart District Officer Stuart Males said there was some fear the fire might extend into the roof space.

``In this instance the fire itself ... was very minimal,'' Mr Males said.

``We're dealing more with smoke at the moment, but again that's only very light.''

Mr Males estimated the fire caused several hundred dollars worth of damage.

``It's more of a health issue we're dealing with, not something that's going to cause potential damage to the stock,'' he said.

Police remained on scene for about an hour, blocking access to the normally busy city street and monitoring a crowd of bystanders.