US Capitol placed on short lockdown after nearby fire

No threat to Capitol, no injuries from fire

A sign displayed outside the Capitol building in Frankfort, Ky., advises that the grounds are closed, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021. Some state capitols are closed, fences are up and extra police are in place at statehouses across the U.S. as authorities brace for potentially violent demonstrations over the coming days. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston) (Bryan Woolston, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

WASHINGTON – A message on Monday morning said an “external security threat” was present at the U.S. Capitol.

“All buildings within the Capitol Complex: External security threat, no entry or exit is permitted, stay away from exterior windows, doors. If outside, seek cover,” the message said.

It appears to be connected to a fire. NBC News’ Pete Williams reports a law enforcement official says the evacuation was prompted by what turned out to be a fire at a homeless encampment.

As of around 11:30 a.m., the lockdown had been lifted.

It appears to be a false alarm of any sort of danger at the Capitol. Inauguration rehearsal was delayed due to the fire. Four law enforcement officials told The Associated Press there had been a blaze several blocks over and the rehearsal was evacuated in an abundance of caution.

The U.S. Capitol is on high alert just days before the Inauguration with thousands of National Guard troops deployed to Washington D.C.

Story is developing.

About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital content manager for WDIV / He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter.