WASHINGTON – A fire broke out Friday at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next to the White House, leading to the evacuation of workers as firefighters responded to the call, according to the U.S. Secret Service.
D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services said at 8 a.m. on Twitter that a defective cooling motor in the basement caused the fire. It said there were no injuries in the response to the fire.
Built between 1871 and 1888, the Eisenhower Executive Office Building towers over the West Wing, where President Joe Biden works. It houses a wide array of White House workers. 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.
By 8:35 a.m., the White House grounds were relatively calm after the morning disturbance.
A 2007 fire at the executive building damaged then Vice President Dick Cheney's ceremonial suite of offices and led to the evacuation of 1,000 federal workers, including a marine who suffered cuts after punching through a fifth-floor window to escape, according to a New York Times article.