Fire Breaks Out in IRS Building

Tax returns are not processed at the building

A fire erupted in the IRS building Monday afternoon and traffic in the area was partially blocked, officials in Washington, D.C., said.

A transformer fire sparked in the basement of the building, a D.C. Fire and EMS representative said. The building at 1111 Constitution Ave. NW was evacuated.

No one was injured, an IRS representative said.

The building will be closed Tuesday as it does not have full electricity. IRS employees who are telework-ready should plan to work remotely, spokesman Matthew Leas said. Other IRS offices are not affected.

The fire comes just under two weeks before taxes are due. But tax returns are not processed at the building and the fire will have no effect on tax return processing, IRS spokesman Terry Lemons said.

Constitution Avenue NW was closed between 10th and 12th streets, but has since reopened.

Lemons said the fire was reported about 3:30 p.m. Monday in the basement. He said the fire created a lot of smoke, and the building was evacuated.

The building was closed about 2:45 p.m. because of electrical problems with the heating and air conditioning systems, Lemons said. About 2,000 people work in the building, and many had left before the fire started.

Lemons said the fire was apparently contained to one room and was related to an electrical issue. The cause is under investigation.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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