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Biden Inaugural Rehearsal Evacuated Over Fire Blocks from Capitol

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The rehearsal at the Capitol on Monday morning for Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday was evacuated by officials who told attendees, “This is not a drill.” The rehearsal had been postponed for a day for security reasons.

Photos and videos show the panicked escape from the rehearsal:

Today’s inaugural rehearsal had to be canceled. The terrorists win. pic.twitter.com/ncMVJ1roiv

– Barbara Malmet (@ B52Malmet) January 18, 2021

BREAKING: Smoke rises from behind the Capitol. The housewarming rehearsal appears to be evacuating. Emergency announcement on the Capitol grounds. pic.twitter.com/86J9S8CsMY

– Jackson Proskow (@JProskowGlobal) January 18, 2021

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Warnings were issued over the loudspeakers: “BREAKING: Smoke is rising near the US Capitol building. An announcement was made over the speaker asking people to stay away from doors and windows due to an external security threat. “

BREAKING: Smoke rises near the US Capitol building. An announcement was broadcast over the loudspeaker telling people to stay away from doors and windows due to an external security threat

– NEWSTALK1010 (@ NEWSTALK1010) January 18, 2021

Extract from the AP report: “The participants were led from the western front of the Capitol. Those who had gathered for a tour, including a military band, were instructed to go inside and move towards a safe location within the Capitol complex. Those involved in the rehearsal said security officers yelled, “This is not a drill.” The US secret service, which is responsible for the security of the inauguration, said there was no threat to the public. “

Apparently the fire was in a homeless camp under a bridge a few blocks south of the Capitol.

Around 10 a.m. this morning, I heard a pop and saw this fire burn under 395 outside the Capitol South Whole Foods. Our homeless neighbors live there. When the fire started there was no one around. Authorities / fire brigade on site @WTOP @PoPville pic.twitter.com/DWzAMloNAP

– Anna Mahalak (@annamarieDC) January 18, 2021

PHOTOS: Officials say the opening rehearsal evacuation was due to a fire burning under an expressway bridge just a few blocks away and not considered a threat. (CLOSER LOOK) pic.twitter.com/1pJT8NkxCS

– The Breaking News reporter (@BreakingNewsIP) January 18, 2021

More photos and videos:

White House Marines secure the Eastern Front door of the #USCapitol during an external security threat during the dress rehearsal for the 59th Opening Ceremony for President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-Elect Kamala Harris at the US #Capitol. 📷epa-efe / Jim Lo Scalzo pic.twitter.com/DoHuMIQAs5

– European Press Photo Agency (@epaphotos) January 18, 2021

Capitol west front evacuated due to “external security threat” pic.twitter.com/tbmyXbKbh4

– Jasper Colt (@jaspercolt) January 18, 2021

The crypt is staffed as the western front of the Capitol is evacuated during the dedication rehearsal. Pic.twitter.com/WR43sMAppL

– Jasper Colt (@jaspercolt) January 18, 2021

Suspected propane tanks in the homeless camp: “BREAKING: Wachquelle tells me that a propane tank exploded in a homeless camp near the Capitol. Several other propane tanks were seen lying around and are being investigated by police. “

I saw it, that’s right. Series of small explosions constant with a small propane tank break pic.twitter.com/S4LsRww0DE

– Nate Taylor (@NateTaylorDC) January 18, 2021

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Robert Dunfee