US Capitol goes on lockdown after fire breaks out in nearby homeless camp
Mary Margaret Olohan, DCNF
The United States Capitol went on lockdown Monday morning as a fire broke out in a nearby homeless camp.
Metropolitan Police Department spokeswoman Alaina Gertz told the Daily Caller News Foundation Monday that the capitol went on lockdown as a result of a fire in a homeless camp. The fire has been put out and there are no injuries, Gertz said.
“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 announced in a tweet. “Out of an abundance of caution the U.S. Capitol complex was temporarily shutdown. There is no threat to the public.”
Video footage shows smoke billowing out from behind the Capitol building as alarms repeatedly sound in the background and people rush away from the Capitol grounds.
“Overhead announcement in the Capitol: due to an external security threat, stay where you are,” tweeted NBC News correspondent Garrett Haake. “Stay away from doors and windows.”
BREAKING: Smoke rising behind Capitol building. Inauguration rehearsal appears to be evacuating. Emergency announcement playing at Capitol grounds. pic.twitter.com/86J9S8CsMY
— Jackson Proskow (@JProskowGlobal) January 18, 2021
Huge cloud of smoke in Washington DC Freeway at 395- 695 Freeway right. G the Capitol. pic.twitter.com/EQnv0OMRxE
— Saqib Ul Islam (@SaqibIslam) January 18, 2021
— Don Andres (@_DCAndres) January 18, 2021
The incident occurred as the city prepares for president-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday and after rioters supporting President Donald Trump stormed the United States Capitol earlier this month, committing acts of vandalism and postponing the certification process as members of Congress were forced to evacuate the building.
Much of downtown Washington, D.C. has been blocked off for inauguration security, and the National Guard is currently protecting the Capitol building.