Secret Service agents locked down the White House Sunday, according to agency spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.
An unknown package found nearby sparked fear because of three D.C. explosions earlier Sunday.
“Precautionary closures were implemented around the White House complex this evening after an unknown item was discovered by Uniformed Division Officers,” Guglielmi said in his Twitter post.
The Secret Service spokesman noted that Fire Department and Emergency Services had been contacted to evaluate the perceived threat. He added that was standard procedure for such incidents and promised updates.
The promised update was posted about 20 minutes later.
“Precautionary closures will be lifted soon as DC Fire has cleared the unknown item as non-hazardous,” Guglielmi stated in his followup tweet.
He thanked Secret Service uniformed agents for their vigilance and extended thanks to Washington, D.C., police, fire and EMS personnel.
D.C. FEMS reported the fire activity had cleared at 9:42 p.m. Eastern Time. The 1800 block of Pennsylvania Ave. NW, between 17th and 18th Sts., and the 500-700 blocks of 17th Street, NW, between E and H Sts were reopened.
The city’s response to the event was posted in a Twitter notice by the account of Debra McKee showing an excerpt of the D.C. Alert page. Access appears restricted to district residents.
The unidentified, reportedly nonhazardous item, found near the White House generated panic Sunday because of D.C. bombings earlier that day, according to a report from Blaze media.
A previous Blaze report revealed three businesses in D.C. had been bombed Sunday morning.
An explosive device detonated outside of the ATM at the Truist Bank in Northeast D.C., around 4:30 a.m., the report noted. A Nike store in Northeast D.C. was damaged by an explosive about six minutes later, it added.
A suspect “threw a Molotov cocktail style object at the Safeway store located in the 300 block of 40th Street, Northeast then fled the scene in a vehicle,” Metropolitan Police revealed in a statement.
All three businesses suffered damage, according to police and further verified by online photos.
“In each of these offenses, it appears the suspect targeted commercial establishments and it does not appear the suspect was targeting any members of the public,” police added in the statement.
Police noted the bombed businesses were all closed and no injuries or deaths have been recorded.
Law enforcement agencies are offering a reward of up to $20,000 for anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the suspect or suspects responsible for the explosions.