In Washington on Monday, emergency responders swiftly addressed a false alarm at the White House following a 911 call reporting a structure fire in the building.
Noah Gray, the Chief Communications Officer for D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services, disclosed that units were dispatched just after 7 a.m.
Emergency crews scramble to White House after 911 caller says it’s on fire https://t.co/fXSopIaF1V
— LaSanya Rucker (@sanacardi) January 16, 2024
Upon coordination with the Secret Service, responders determined the absence of a fire emergency.
The situation was successfully resolved by 7:16 a.m. President Biden, who was at Camp David during the incident, later proceeded to Philadelphia for a service trip in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Over the past month, there has been a concerning surge in swatting incidents targeting public officials and offices.
Notable figures such as Federal Judge Tanya Chutkan, special counsel Jack Smith, and several members of Congress have fallen victim to such incidents, raising concerns about the safety and security of public figures.
While an official familiar with the White House incident avoided labeling it as swatting, they acknowledged it was "in the same spirit" as similar occurrences involving public officials.
The official clarified that there was no SWAT team response, emphasizing the absence of immediate tactical intervention.
The Secret Service, responsible for the security of the White House, declined to provide comments on the incident and directed inquiries to D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services, leaving questions lingering about the nature of the false alarm and the broader context of security challenges faced by government officials.
The incident highlights the need for ongoing vigilance and preparedness in addressing potential threats to the safety of high-profile individuals and government institutions.
The latest incident adds to growing safety concerns for the president and other public officials as tensions grow during a controversial election year that could see a rematch of the 2020 election.