White House Lockdown Lifted After Nearby Vendor Explosion

The White House was put on lockdown Saturday morning after a nearby food vendor cart suffered a small explosion, causing a security sweep before President Barack Obama and his family were about to leave for Selma, Alabama, according to a White House pool report.

Photos posted on Twitter from Will Sweet show heavy smoke from one of the food locations in the 400 block of 15th Street, Northwest on Saturday morning.

D.C. fire officials said the fire was extinguished and one person was evaluated on the scene, but not transported to a hospital.

Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary told The Associated Press, around the same time a bomb-sniffing dog detected something on a vehicle nearby. That vehicle was checked out by the Secret Service and other officers and cleared at 11:48 a.m.

The fire at the vendor cart briefly delayed the departure of President Barack Obama and the first family to commemorate the historic 50th anniversary of the civil rights march in to Selma.

The White House press pool was out on the South Lawn for the departure when a loud explosion was heard, the pool report said. The Secret Service moved the press back into the White House and initiated a lockdown of the building.

Obama and his family left the White House by motorcade instead of helicopter an hour later and boarded Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Reuters reported.

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