WASHINGTON: The US Secret Service reports that on Friday, a fire broke out in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building adjacent to the White House, forcing the evacuation of employees while firefighters responded to the scene.
D.C. Fire and EMS tweeted at 8 a.m. that the fire was caused by a faulty cooling motor in the basement. None of those involved in putting out the fire were hurt, it said.
The West Wing, where Vice President Joe Biden is based, is dwarfed by the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, which was constructed between 1871 and 1888. Numerous White House staff members call this building home. An email to White House staff sent Friday morning said “URGENT: EVACUATION” with the order to leave the building at the direction of security officers.
At 8:35 a.m., after an early-morning commotion, the White House grounds had returned to a state of relative calm.
According to a New York Times article, a fire in the executive building in 2007 forced the evacuation of 1,000 federal workers, including a marine who suffered cuts when he punched through a fifth-floor window to escape.