The event upset a rehearsal for Biden’s inauguration, a visit that had already postponed due to security concerns. Military and civilian law enforcement officials have been on guard against any warning signs of a transfer of power following the violence earlier this month.
Officials were particularly worried about the possibility of an “insider threat” to Biden or others on the day of the inauguration, and placed increased scrutiny on the approximately 25,000 National Guard members who been allowed to help secure the city.
“We can either do it or be guessed after the fact not to do it,” William Walker, the commanding general of the Washington National Guard, told Fox News on Monday. “So, very carefully, we … want to make sure we have the right people in the security bubble.” We have the time and the capacity to do it. “
Earlier today on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Walker said these steps were taken ahead of previous openings and similar high-profile events.
“They are examined and examined repeatedly, until they are actually put on the streets,” he said.
Monday’s fire was located less than a mile from the Capitol, although it was not in close proximity. Nonetheless, law enforcement has been aggressive in establishing a perimeter around the Capitol following the deadly riots earlier this month, including checkpoints several blocks from arterial roads leading to the complex.
First responders quickly mobilized to the site of the reported fire, and the aggressive response demonstrates the level of concern officials have shown in anticipation of opening day. Local first responders reported extinguishing the fire.
“Updated outside of H St SE Fire Block 100. Fire involved a homeless tent under the freeway, “District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services written on twitter. “The occupant indicated that she was using propane, which may explain the explosion report.
The department reported that one person was sent to hospital with non-fatal injuries as a result of the fire.
Elsewhere, law enforcement mobilized to secure state Capitol buildings over the weekend, although expected protests generally did not materialize.
But in the nation’s capital, officials moved quickly to curb traffic around the complex, with U.S. Capitol Police preventing movement from entering and exiting buildings in the area and discouraging people from windows and doors. doors nearby.
This included a loudspeaker announcement near the rehearsal space indicating what ended up being the entire perimeter lockdown around the Capitol complex.
Near the exit, word of mouth and the radio told security that a lockdown was in progress. The officers did not know why, but they were eventually told to “put on your helmet” as a “precaution”.
Shortly after, the lockdown was lifted, according to the National Guard source, and a green light was issued by the United States Capitol Police.
Eugene Daniels contributed to this report.