This morning across the street from my apartment building there was an explosion and fire. Thankfully no one was killed in the incident however part of a homeless person camp did burn down and one lady was injured. From what we have been told here at our building was that a propane tank exploded and resulted in this fire. This camp is located under a highway bridge about a block from where the Green Zone has been established. Given this location, it was heavily responded to and the whole block was closed off as bomb-sniffing dogs were brought in.
With the heightened security, the Capitol area was immediately placed in lockdown and the building itself was evacuated. With it being MLK day the offices were closed. The only people who were evacuated were those participating in the inauguration rehearsal. I will say while it is cold here it still is in the low 30's and from what I know about propane tanks they have safety release valves to prevent explosions. I am a little confused with the information that has been released to us on how this tank did explode. It is a little concerning, to say the least, and everyone around here is really pretty jumpy.
Since I saw this occurring when I went to get coffee I finally did go get it and when I returned the police refused at that time to say anything and actually almost did not let me into my own apartment building. It was only after I showed the key fob used to get in that they did let me. There were over a dozen police vehicles on the two streets I could see (the ones that ran in front and next to my apartment building) and three fire engines. Ambulances did show up but from what the concierge told me was she did not want treatment. This is a crazy time, to say the least!
Just a few minutes ago I went on a walk and took a photo of the place where the camp was. It still smells like smoke down there and there is an unmarked police vehicle just out of side. From what I could tell it looks like it burned down two separate structures maybe more depending on if they had more tents inbetween.
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