Fire Alarm Sparks Brief Visitor Center Evacuation

Posted November 16, 2011 at 9:52am

Construction work might have caused a fire alarm to go off this morning in the Capitol Visitor Center, prompting a partial evacuation of the building.

Shortly after 9:30 a.m., Capitol Police issued a campus-wide email reporting an “audible alarm” in the CVC and instructed visitors and staff to evacuate immediately.

Tunnels connecting House and Senate office buildings to the Capitol were temporarily closed off, and officers guarded certain entrances.

But Capitol Police spokeswoman Sgt. Kimberly Schneider said a little before 10:30 a.m. that the CVC was reopening to staffers first, then to the public.

Schneider told Roll Call that while the alarm led to evacuation orders, there were “no signs of smoke, fire, etc.”

She added that an initial investigation indicated that construction work at the site might have set off the alarm.