U.S. Capitol temporarily placed on lockdown due to fire several blocks away


Scaffolding in place at the US Capitol in preparation for Joe Biden’s inauguration, January 12, 2021 (Nexstar)

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Capitol building was temporarily placed on lockdown Monday morning following a fire at a homeless encampment, officials said.

According to DC Fire and EMS, there was a report of an “explosion” early Monday morning beneath a freeway in the area of 1st and F streets. One person at the homeless encampment there told authorities she was using propane when the fire started.

One individual was injured but is expected to be okay, officials said.

U.S. Secret Service released a statement saying the fire was quickly extinguished. “Out of an abundance of caution the U.S. Capitol complex was temporarily shutdown. There is no threat to the public,” they added.

U.S. Capitol Police also released a statement saying there were no fire on the Capitol campus.

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

Nexstar’s DC correspondent Jessie Turnure reported on the lockdown on Twitter, saying, “Loud speakers warned of an “exterior threat” as my coworker and I were walking to get COVID-19 tests ahead of Inauguration Day.”

She went on to say that those participating in the inauguration rehearsal scheduled for Monday were told to leave the front of the Capitol.

The lockdown was lifted around 10 a.m. CT.

The inauguration of President-elect Biden is scheduled to take place on Wednesday.

This is a developing story.

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