Shortly after 9:30 a.m., Capitol Police issued a campus-wide email reporting an “audible alarm” in the CVC and instructed visitors and staff to evacuate immediately.
Tunnels connecting House and Senate office buildings to the Capitol were temporarily closed off, and officers guarded certain entrances.
But Capitol Police spokeswoman Sgt. Kimberly Schneider said a little before 10:30 a.m. that the CVC was reopening to staffers first, then to the public.
Schneider told Roll Call that while the alarm led to evacuation orders, there were “no signs of smoke, fire, etc.”
She added that an initial investigation indicated that construction work at the site might have set off the alarm.
The Architect of the Capitol’s spokeswoman did not return requests for comment by press time regarding what construction work might have caused the disruption.
However, a Capitol Police officer told Roll Call that the alarm was triggered when stonemasons were steam cleaning the walls of the CVC’s lower level. Steam erroneously entered one of the pull stations containing a fire alarm, which shorted the system, the officer said.
Visitors get their first look at the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial, which opened to the public on Monday, Oct. 6, 2014. The new memorial is located off Independence Ave. SW between the Rayburn House Office Building and HHS. Buy photo here.