Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Flames Erupting at U.S. Treasury Spur Evacuations

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Flames Erupting at U.S. Treasury Spur Evacuations

Article excerpt

A fire in the Treasury Building was brought under control Wednesday night about 3 1/2 hours after hundreds of government workers were evacuated from the stately building adjacent to the White House.

The fire erupted on the roof of the 125-year-old structure in the afternoon, and fire officials said heavy smoke filled the fifth floor and basement of the five-story building. Dense smoke could be seen billowing from the roof three hours after the fire began.

"It was a very hard fire to contain," because of high ceilings and false ceilings that had to be pulled down, district Fire Chief Otis J. Latin said.

Restoration work was being done on the building, and Latin said he believed the fire started on the roof, where a roofing company had been working. The District of Columbia fire department evacuated hundreds of people from the structure at about 4:45 p.m. and closed off surrounding streets to traffic.

The five-story building is about 100 yards from the east portico of the White House and is separated from the White House grounds by a broad pedestrian walkway. …

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