This was a scary moment.
The Capitol went on lockdown after a fire from a homeless encampment caused an “external security threat”.
It’s reported the fire has been now put out and there are no serious injuries.
The Capitol Police initiated the Lockdown and warned officials to stay inside until the Secret Service announced the fire was distinguished.
#UPDATE from U.S. Capitol Police:
The lockdown at the U.S. Capitol has been lifted. The fire under the bridge on I-295 at First and F Streets, SE, has been contained by DC Fire. The investigation into the incident is continuing.
— Greta Wall (@GretaLWall) January 18, 2021
— DC Fire and EMS (@dcfireems) January 18, 2021
CBS had this to say about the scare:
A fire under a highway several blocks from the Capitol caused a brief lockdown of the complex and the evacuation of a rehearsal of Wednesday’s inauguration, a reflection of the heightened state of alert in the nation’s capital.
Capitol Police warned those in the Capitol to stay inside due to an “external security threat,” and shut off access to and from the building. A rehearsal on the West Front of the Capitol was evacuated, with media members told to return to nearby trailers.
Capitol Police said a fire under a highway several blocks south of the Capitol prompted the lockdown.
There are currently no fires on or within the Capitol campus,” Capitol Police said. “Members and staff were advised to shelter in place while the incident is being investigated.”
The U.S. Secret Service said the fire had been extinguished and there was “no threat to the public.”
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
Fox News contributed to the story too:
The U.S. Capitol Building was placed in a brief lockdown in response to what announcements on the grounds described as an “external security threat,” Fox News has learned.
The threat appears to have been linked to an outdoor fire at a homeless encampment that has since been extinguished.
The encampment was located approximately one mile away, where a plume of smoke created security concerns. Washington, D.C. Fire and EMS said the fire “accounts for smoke that many have seen.”
Around 10 am this morning I heard some pops, saw this fire burning underneath 395 outside of the Capitol South Whole Foods. Our homeless neighbors live under there. Praying no one was in the vicinity when the fire started. Authorities/fire department on scene @WTOP @PoPville pic.twitter.com/DWzAMloNAP
— Anna Mahalak (@annamarieDC) January 18, 2021