Inauguration rehearsal evacuated after a fire in a homeless camp

Washington – An already volatile city with a temporary closure of the US Capitol during the rehearsal of President Joe Biden’s inauguration after a fire broke out in a homeless camp about a mile away, with smoke erupting into the air. Raised a safety concern.

The false alarm temporarily interrupted Wednesday’s inauguration Monday rehearsal. This is a four-year exercise for US marine bands to follow their pace, with stand-ins acting as Biden and other VIPs and practicing the “Star-Spangled Banner” for Wednesday’s performance. By Lady Gaga. Shortly thereafter, rehearsals resumed, with frequent helicopters patrol over the Capitol.

Law enforcement officials said there was no threat to the general public and the fire was not considered a threat to the inauguration. The local firefighter immediately extinguished the flame. Officials said the evacuation and blockade of some participants was ordered with great care by the Deputy Secretary of Parliamentary Police.

However, the swift decision to blockade emphasized the fear of hitting Washington since the deadly January 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol due to the Trump-backed riots and urged special action prior to taking office. .. Most of the armed protests planned nationwide last weekend have collapsed, but anxiety remains soaring.

The US Secret Service strengthened security in and around the Capitol a week before preparations. The city center is basically closed, streets are closed, high fences are installed, and tens of thousands of National Guard and other law enforcement officers are stationed in the area.

However, Pentagon officials have asked the FBI to scrutinize all of the 25,000 National Guard coming to the area, fearing potential insider attacks or other threats from service members involved in securing the event. I urged you. Deputy Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller said in a statement Monday that the National Guard investigation was ongoing and that the Pentagon had so far found no information indicating an internal threat.

Nonetheless, the Secret Service issued breaking news over the weekend about what is considered a “rise” when posting photos of the National Guard and details of its operations online.

The Associated Press received a “everyone involved” message sent to all National Guards coming to Washington. Breaking news states that “service members must not post online locations, photos, or descriptions of confidential sites currently in operation or protected,” without entering a specific post, and will stop immediately. I urged you.

A secret service spokesperson was asked about the breaking news and said, “I will not comment on the issue of protection information.”

President Donald Trump refused to attend the inauguration. For the first time since Andrew Johnson, the incumbent President was not present, but Vice President Mike Pence and other former Presidents will be present.

Eva Marekki, a spokeswoman for Parliamentary Police, said there are currently no fires on campus or on campus. “While the case was being investigated, members and staff were advised to evacuate to their place,” she said in a statement.

Firefighters were called to a homeless camp shortly before 10:15 am, and a woman who lived there had a portable heater with a flammable gas tank, said fire department spokesman Vito Maggiolo. A woman who was injured but refused treatment told firefighters that the flames spread rapidly and her belongings were burned. The fire was extinguished shortly after the firefighters arrived.

Participants were guided from the west front of the Parliament Building. People gathered for the walkthrough, including the military band, were instructed to head indoors and moved towards a safe place within the Capitol.

Those involved in the rehearsal said security officials shouted, “This is not training.”

The blockade was lifted after about an hour.

The riots on January 6 killed five people, including police officers.


Associated Press writers Zeke Miller and Michael Balsamo of Washington and James Laporta of Delray Beach, Florida contributed to this report.

Copyright 2021 AP communication. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.

Inauguration rehearsal evacuated after a fire in a homeless camp

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