White House offices reopened after brief evacuation

WASHINGTON Sat May 11, 2013 9:15am EDT

Related Topics

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - White House offices were evacuated briefly on Saturday when an electrical transformer near the West Wing malfunctioned and set off a smoke alarm, a White House official said. A Secret Service official said President Barack Obama had not been in the area at the time.

"The transformer problem was quickly resolved. Electricity and personnel access to the West Wing has returned to normal. The First Family was unaffected," the White House official said in an emailed statement.

Firefighters responded and staff were evacuated briefly, the Secret Service official said. "That's typical that we would ask everyone to step out," he said.

First reports of the evacuation came at about 8 a.m. EDT (1200 GMT).

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Jackie Frank and Mohammad Zargham)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (4)
Paranoia setting in.

May 11, 2013 11:37am EDT  --  Report as abuse
AZ1811 wrote:
Did the smoke dirty the mirrors?

May 11, 2013 11:56am EDT  --  Report as abuse
hawkeye19 wrote:
Smoke in the Devil’s workshop.

May 11, 2013 12:10pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.