West Wing Evacuated: Secret Service Cites Smoke from Mechanical Closet, Overheated Transformer to Blame

The West Wing of the White House, including the press area, was briefly evacuated early Saturday morning Saturday due to an overheated transformer.

U.S. Secret Service disclosed that at around 7 a.m., someone reported seeing smoke coming from what looked like a mechanical closet in the West Wing of the White House.

Authorities investigated the source of smoke coming out of a mechanical closet. The District of Columbia Fire Department later clarified that it was an "odor that smelled like smoke" that was reported.

Out of an abundance of caution, the West Wing personnel, including journalists and photographers, evacuated and the D.C. Fire Department was called. Five fire trucks responded to the White House, including a ladder truck, but all departed shortly thereafter.

A D.C. Fire Department official said that the smell eventually dissipated, and there was no fire.

It was determined that an overheated piece of equipment was the source of the smoke. The transformer problem was quickly resolved.

The scene was calm. People were soon allowed to return inside the White House an hour later and electricity has returned to normal. No injuries were reported.

U.S. President Barack Obama and his family do not live in the West Wing area of the White House, and officials say they were not affected by the evacuation.

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