The US Capitol Complex was put into lockdown with no entry or exit, due to an “external security threat”.
Capitol Police had issued a warning to people in all buildings within the complex to “stay away from exterior windows and doors” and for those outside to “seek cover”.
But shortly afterwards they confirmed there was “no threat to the public”.
The Secret Service said firefighters had responded to a “small fire” near the area and that “out of an abundance of caution” the complex was temporarily shutdown.
TheCapitol Complex on the National Mall in Washington DC,is a group of 20 buildings and offices surrounding the Capitol building itself, that are used by elected officials, the federal government and its departments.
Earlier this month, protesters stormed the Capitol building leaving five people dead – including a woman who was shot by police inside the building – and caused widespread shock and outrage in America.
Since the riot, there has been a tense atmosphere in the city, which on Wednesday hosts the inauguration of president-elect Joe Biden and his vice president Kamala Harris.
Biden inauguration: Watch and follow events on Sky News from 1pm on Wednesday, with the ceremony starting at 4pm
Former FBI boss James Comey told Sky News he was worried about the threat of violence from “armed, disturbed people”at the inauguration.
Mr Comeysaid: “I’m worried because there are armed, disturbed people who are in this state of mind where they believe their country is being taken from them.”
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Former FBI director: Trump a ‘demagogue’
The National Guard has been descending on Washington to guard government buildings ahead of inauguration day, when officials say 21,000 will be on hand.
Shortly before today’s closure of the Capitol Complex, a notice sent to House and Senate offices read: “All buildings within the Capitol Complex: Due to an external security threat located under the bridge on I-295 at First and F Streets SE, no entry or exit is permitted at this time.
“You may move throughout the buildings but stay away from exterior windows and doors.
“If you are outside, seek cover.”