- WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A
fire at CIA headquarters that prompted the evacuation of the building where
the spy agency's top officials have offices was accidental and caused about
$100,000 worth of damage, a fire department spokesman said on
- "The fire was ruled accidental,'' said Lt. Lorenzo
Thrower, spokesman for the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department in
- The fire, detected about 5:45 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, was
contained in about 30 minutes, authorities said.
- It started when hot material from a torch that workers
were using to do repairs on the top floor of the building fell through
the ventilation system into a small utility closet where combustible wooden
shelves caught on fire, Thrower said.
- "There were enough flames where it created an
amount of smoke throughout the building,'' especially because it traveled
through the ventilation system, he said.
- Twelve CIA employees were treated at the scene for smoke
inhalation, Thrower said. Two others and one firefighter were taken to
the hospital for treatment, he said.
- CIA Director George Tenet was not inside the building
at the time of the fire.
- The CIA's 24-hour operations center, which keeps in touch
with the agency's overseas offices and gathers information on developments
around the globe of national security concern, was operating from a
site on the sprawling CIA compound in suburban Langley, Virginia, CIA
Mark Mansfield said.
- The President's Daily Brief, which the CIA delivers early
in the morning to the president and a small group of high-level government
officials, was dispatched as usual, he said.
- Only "essential'' employees were required to come
to work on Wednesday, but everyone was expected to be back at work on
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