WASHINGTON - Thick black smoke billowed from a fire yesterday in Vice President Cheney's suite of offices in the historic Eisenhower Executive Office Building next to the White House.

Cheney's office was damaged by smoke and water from fire hoses, White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said. The vice president was not in the building at the time; he was in the West Wing of the White House with President Bush.

More than 1,000 people who work in the building were evacuated.

The fire broke out on the second floor of the building around about 9:15 a.m. and was under control within a half hour, District of Columbia fire department spokesman Alan Etter said.

Investigators were working to determine the cause of the blaze, Etter said. The smoke appeared to come from an electrical closet on the building's second floor.

Afterward, Bush and Cheney appeared on West Executive Avenue, between the White House and the damaged building, to thank District of Columbia firefighters.

There were no reports of serious injuries, Etter said.

The extent of water, fire and smoke damage was unclear.