Fire in DC Puts Tense Capitol in Brief Lockdown

Fire in DC Puts Tense Capitol in Brief Lockdown Members of a security detail are alerted as a fire several blocks from the Capitol caused a brief lockdown Members of a security detail are alerted as a fire under a highway several blocks from the Capitol caused a brief lockdown of the complex Monday in Washington, D.C. (Oliver Contreras/AP)

By Brian Freeman | Monday, 18 January 2021 03:09 PM

A small fire in Washington, D.C., on Monday led to a brief lockdown of the Capitol complex and disrupted a rehearsal for President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration later this week, Politico reported.

With military and civil law enforcement already on increased guard against any warning signs ahead of the transfer of power after the siege on the Capitol earlier this month, the fire located under a nearby highway that could be viewed from the Capitol sent authorities scrambling.

The blaze upended a rehearsal for Biden's inauguration, a practice that had already been postponed previously due to the security concerns

The fire was apparently caused by a propane tank which exploded at a homeless camp nearby.

First responders quickly reached the site of the blaze, located less than a mile from the Capitol, demonstrating the extra concern officials have been emphasizing in anticipation of Inauguration Day.

The U.S. Secret Service later said the fire had been put out and there was "no threat to the public," CBS News reported.

Since the riot at the Capitol, law enforcement has been aggressive in setting up a perimeter around the complex, including checkpoints several blocks away from the arterial roads leading to it.