‘Small fire’ prompts brief shutdown of Capitol, evacuation of inauguration rehearsal participants

NBC NEWS
– Reprint (Adapted)

A law enforcement official said the evacuation was prompted by what turned out to be a fire at a homeless encampment.

Image:
National Guard members take a staircase toward the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 18, 2021. Patrick Semansky / AP

By Rebecca Shabad

WASHINGTON — A “small fire” under a nearby bridge prompted the temporary shutdown of the U.S. Capitol complex and the evacuation of the west front of the building, where a rehearsal for Wednesday’s inaugural ceremony was underway Monday.

“Public safety and law enforcement responded to a small fire in the area of 1st and F streets SE, Washington, D.C. that has been extinguished,” the Secret Service tweeted. “Out of an abundance of caution the U.S. Capitol complex was temporarily shutdown. There is no threat to the public.”

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris were not at the Capitol when the incident occurred. Both are participating in Monday in-service events to mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Biden and his wife are helping to distribute goods at Philabundance, Philadelphia’s largest hunger-relief organization, while Harris and her husband are volunteering in D.C.

Yogananda Pittman, acting chief of Capitol Police, acted out of “an abundance of caution following an external security threat under the bridge on I-295 at First and F Streets,” and ordered a shutdown of the Capitol complex, according to a statement from Capitol Police.

West front of Capitol evacuated after ‘external security threat’

Jan. 18, 2021, 02:46

“Members and staff were advised to shelter in place while the incident is being investigated.”

Capitol Police later gave the all-clear, lifting the shelter-in-place advisory.

A law enforcement official told NBC News that the evacuation was prompted by what turned out to be a fire at a homeless encampment.

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Washington, D.C.’s fire department tweeted about an incident that appeared to match that description.

https://twitter.com/dcfireems/status/1351189982912901124?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1351189982912901124%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nbcnews.com%2Fpolitics%2Fcongress%2Fsmall-fire-prompts-temporary-shutdown-capitol-evacuation-inaguration-rehearsal-participants-n1254585

Details of the incident came after an announcement was made across the Capitol that said that there was an external security threat and that people should stay where they are, and to stay away from doors and windows.

A notice sent to House and Senate offices said, “All buildings within the Capitol Complex: Due to an external security threat located under the bridge on I-295 at First and F Streets SE, no entry or exit is permitted at this time. You may move throughout the buildings but stay away from exterior windows and doors. If you are outside, seek cover.”

Washington is on a high state of alert as Biden’s swearing-in approaches after the Jan. 6 events that led to the violent storming of the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob.

Image: Rebecca Shabad

Rebecca Shabad

Rebecca Shabad is a congressional reporter for NBC News, based in Washington.

by Taboola

Sponsored Stories StarscopeEveryone In Montserrat Should Get This $47 Monocular Telescope (See Why)Work from Home | Search AdDo You Speak English? Work a USA job from home in MontserratStarscope / SPONSOREDEveryone In Montserrat Should Get This $47 Monocular Telescope (See Why)Work from Home | Search Ad / SPONSOREDDo You Speak English? Work a USA job from home in Montserrat

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NBC NEWS
– Reprint (Adapted)

A law enforcement official said the evacuation was prompted by what turned out to be a fire at a homeless encampment.

Image:
National Guard members take a staircase toward the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 18, 2021. Patrick Semansky / AP

By Rebecca Shabad

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WASHINGTON — A “small fire” under a nearby bridge prompted the temporary shutdown of the U.S. Capitol complex and the evacuation of the west front of the building, where a rehearsal for Wednesday’s inaugural ceremony was underway Monday.

“Public safety and law enforcement responded to a small fire in the area of 1st and F streets SE, Washington, D.C. that has been extinguished,” the Secret Service tweeted. “Out of an abundance of caution the U.S. Capitol complex was temporarily shutdown. There is no threat to the public.”

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris were not at the Capitol when the incident occurred. Both are participating in Monday in-service events to mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Biden and his wife are helping to distribute goods at Philabundance, Philadelphia’s largest hunger-relief organization, while Harris and her husband are volunteering in D.C.

Yogananda Pittman, acting chief of Capitol Police, acted out of “an abundance of caution following an external security threat under the bridge on I-295 at First and F Streets,” and ordered a shutdown of the Capitol complex, according to a statement from Capitol Police.

West front of Capitol evacuated after ‘external security threat’

Jan. 18, 2021, 02:46

“Members and staff were advised to shelter in place while the incident is being investigated.”

Capitol Police later gave the all-clear, lifting the shelter-in-place advisory.

A law enforcement official told NBC News that the evacuation was prompted by what turned out to be a fire at a homeless encampment.

Recommended
Congress Twitter suspends GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene
CongressPelosi tasks retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré with leading review of Capitol security

Washington, D.C.’s fire department tweeted about an incident that appeared to match that description.

https://twitter.com/dcfireems/status/1351189982912901124?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1351189982912901124%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nbcnews.com%2Fpolitics%2Fcongress%2Fsmall-fire-prompts-temporary-shutdown-capitol-evacuation-inaguration-rehearsal-participants-n1254585

Details of the incident came after an announcement was made across the Capitol that said that there was an external security threat and that people should stay where they are, and to stay away from doors and windows.

A notice sent to House and Senate offices said, “All buildings within the Capitol Complex: Due to an external security threat located under the bridge on I-295 at First and F Streets SE, no entry or exit is permitted at this time. You may move throughout the buildings but stay away from exterior windows and doors. If you are outside, seek cover.”

Washington is on a high state of alert as Biden’s swearing-in approaches after the Jan. 6 events that led to the violent storming of the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob.

Image: Rebecca Shabad

Rebecca Shabad

Rebecca Shabad is a congressional reporter for NBC News, based in Washington.

by Taboola

Sponsored Stories StarscopeEveryone In Montserrat Should Get This $47 Monocular Telescope (See Why)Work from Home | Search AdDo You Speak English? Work a USA job from home in MontserratStarscope / SPONSOREDEveryone In Montserrat Should Get This $47 Monocular Telescope (See Why)Work from Home | Search Ad / SPONSOREDDo You Speak English? Work a USA job from home in Montserrat