The US Capitol was put on a brief lockdown on Monday due to an “external security threat”, which turned out to be a fire in a homeless camp not far from the building. The incident caused the cancellation of the rehearsal of the inauguration of 46th US president Joe Biden, as all its participants were evacuated from the Capitol Hill area.

As the US Secret Service stated, the fire occurred under a bridge at a safe distance behind the Capitol building, which was not under threat, although it appeared on several videos shot from a particular angle that the fire had started close behind it.

On January 6, supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump stormed Capitol Hill in a bid to prevent Congress from certifying the presidential election victory. At least five people, including a female air force veteran, were killed and some 170 cases have been opened by police in connection with the riots. The US House of Representatives impeached Trump last week for inciting the riot.

In the wake of the DC riots, Washington has beefed up security to prevent similar incidents from happening during the upcoming inauguration.