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A pipe letting out steam will initially block part of the hall in this room. The steam will stop when the player solves the puzzle in a different room later in the game. Walking into the steam will cause the character to flinch and step back as if they were attacked (but they will not receive any damage).
It looks like a fire extinguisher, but it's so old that it's of no use now.
The way is blocked by a cloud of super-heated steam.