According to D.C. Fire and EMS spokesman Lon Walls
, the fire erupted at approximately 11 a.m. in the duct-work on the 7th floor of the State Department. It had started during routine maintenance work at a mechanical area of the building.
Maintenance workers were replacing insulation
when the fire started. They doused the flames with fire extinguishers until local fire fighters arrived.
Three maintenance workers were sent to Washington Hospital Center
with one sustaining life-threatening injuries according to Walls.
State department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said
the building was evacuated temporarily but resumed normal operations later that day. Workers were sent to a nearby facility to resume around-the-clock operations until firefighters gave the green light to re-enter the building.