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Nearby Fire Triggers U.S. Capitol Lockdown, Inauguration Rehearsal Evacuation As Law Enforcement On High Alert

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WJZ) -- The U.S. Capitol was put on lockdown Monday morning just as inauguration rehearsals were about to begin. But officials later said a fire several blocks away put law enforcement on high alert.

The U.S. Secret Service tweeted that a small fire in the area of First and F streets SE was extinguished and the U.S. Capitol was shutdown out of an abundance of caution.

Presidential Inauguration Rehearsal Held At US Capitol Building
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 18: U.S. military units march in front of the U.S. Capitol as they rehearse for President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration ceremony on January 18, 2021 in Washington, DC. The inauguration will take place on January 20. (Photo by J. Scott Applewhite-Pool/Getty Images)

"There is no threat to the public," Secret Service said.

The security scare came as a dress rehearsal for Joe Biden's inauguration was about to begin.

"External security threat, no entry or exit is permitted, stay away from exterior windows, doors. If outside, seek cover," the alert said.

People at the dress rehearsal were rushed back inside the Capitol after the perceived threat was reported.

Presidential Inauguration Rehearsal Held At US Capitol Building
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 18: People are evacuated back inside after an "external security threat" prior to a dress rehearsal for the 59th inaugural ceremony for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris at the U.S. Capitol on January 18, 2021 in Washington, DC. Biden will be sworn-in as the 46th president on January 20th. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)


DC Fire and EMS said they responded to the fire outside in the 100 block of H Street southeast.

No injuries were reported. This was what caused the smoke that could be seen over the Capitol.

DC and federal law enforcement are on high alert after a violent mob stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

READ: Crisis at the Capitol: Complete Coverage

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