The U.S. Capitol was temporarily locked down during a rehearsal for President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration after a fire in a homeless encampment roughly a mile away sent a plume of smoke into the air and caused security concerns in an already nervy city.
Law enforcement officials said there was no threat to the public and the fire was not believed to be a threat to the inauguration. Local firefighters put out the blaze quickly. The evacuation of some participants and the lockdown were ordered by the acting chief of Capitol Police in an abundance of caution, officials said.
People involved in the rehearsal said security officials reportedly yelled "this is not a drill" during the evacuation.
It comes as Donald Trump prepares to issue a slew of pardons during his final 48 hours in office. He is reportedly considering issuing as many as 100, although US outlets say he will not attempt to pardon himself or direct family members.
Earlier on Monday, Trump r eleased a list of 244 individuals to be memorialised in statue in the 'National Garden of American Heroes'. The list included the likes of Martin Luther King, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Hannah Arendt, as well as Ronald Reagan.
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