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QUEEN DOUSES FIRE WITH WATER AND A FEW LAUGHS

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Queen Elizabeth used a soda water siphon to put out a fire in a Windsor Castle fireplace when the room filled with smoke because of a closed chimney flue, British newspapers said Thursday.

Buckingham Palace said there was no damage and little danger from the Dec. 11 incident at Windsor Castle, which is still being rebuilt after a major 1992 fire that began during restoration work and caused tens of millions of pounds in damage.In the latest incident, the queen was reported to be heading to bed when she noticed smoke in the Oak Room of the castle, where a servant had lit a fire earlier. High winds were blamed for blowing closed a chimney flue and forcing the smoke into the room.

Queen Elizabeth entered the room, and rather than calling for help grabbed a soda siphon from a drinks table and sprayed it into the fireplace. Palace servants told the British tabloids that she was laughing and joking when they arrived.

A palace spokesman denied reports in several British tabloids that the queen had been covered in soot from a "blastback" when the cold soda water hit the hot coals.