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US Capitol Put On Lockdown As Fire Reported Nearby

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 18 Jan 2021 15:40
US Capitol Put On Lockdown As Fire Reported Nearbydhookstead/Twitter

The US Capitol has reportedly been locked down due to an ‘exterior security threat’.

Smoke has been pictured coming from part of a Capitol building, reported CBS News’ Zak Hudak.

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He wrote on Twitter, ‘Capitol on lockdown due to exterior security threat, per intercom announcement just now’.

Following the concerning news, the DC Fire department took to Twitter to confirm that a fire has been extinguished and that there’s been no reports of injuries.

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The service wrote, ‘#DCsBravest responded to an outside fire in the 100 block of H St SE that has been extinguished. There were no injuries. This accounts for smoke that many have seen.’ 

Global News’ Jackson Proskow also confirmed the fire has been extinguished, writing: ‘The smoke has now subsided. People who were on the grounds for inauguration rehearsal have left.’

It has now been reported that it’s thought the smoke came from a homeless person’s belongings that were set alight a few blocks away from the Capitol, reported Proskow on social media.

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He wrote, ‘Further update, from what appears to have been the source of the smoke/fire a few blocks from the capitol. The fact that this what likely resulted in the lockdown speaks to how high tensions are right now.’

Lara Seligman, Pro Defense reporter for POLITICO, was told by a source that a propane tank at a homeless camp exploded and more had been spotting laying around the area.

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Capitol law enforcement also confirmed the fire was not on Capitol grounds and explained that members and staff were advised to shelter while the incident is being investigated.

Meanwhile, the US Secret Service has stated that ‘there is no threat to the public’, writing on Twitter:

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. Out of an abundance of caution the U.S. Capitol complex was temporarily shutdown. There is no threat to the public.

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The reaction to the fire comes as tension rise at the US Capitol in the wake of the riot that took place on January 6, with further concerns of more violent protests in the run up to Joe Biden’s inauguration this week.

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: News, Capitol, Evacuation, Fire, Now, US Capitol, washington