In the last few hours, the U.S. Capitol was shut down temporarily out of an abundance of caution after a fire broke out near the complex, the Capitol Police said, underscoring intensive security installed two days before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.
“There is no threat to the public,” the U.S. Secret Service said in a tweet.
The U.S. Capitol Police said in a statement that members and staff were advised to shelter in place while the incident was being investigated.
According to a Reuters witness, all participants in the rehearsal for Biden’s inauguration, were evacuated into the building, and participants were being held in the Capitol rotunda and other indoor areas.
The city’s fire department said on Twitter that firefighters put out an outside fire near the Capitol complex.
“There were no injuries,” the department said. “This accounts for smoke that many have seen.”
Later, the Capitol Police in a statement said the lockdown was lifted and the fire nearby was contained.
Earlier, on January 6th, scores of mobs among President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the capitol building, some of whom called for the death of Vice President Mike Pence as he presided over the certification of Biden’s November election victory.