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Union Station Evacuated After Smoke Alarm Set Off

The Armed Forces Inaugural Committee holds a briefing People wait outside Union Station after they were evacuated due to a grease fire. (AFP/Getty)

D.C. firefighters responded to a grease fire at McDonald's restaurant at Union Station today and the station was evacuated as a safety precaution, but there were no injuries.

The fire started because of overheated grease, said department spokesman Alan Etter.

As a precaution, people in the station, packed with inauguration travelers making their way home, were evacuated.

David Joseph, 15, visiting from Concord, N.C., was waiting for his train and had just left the restaurant. He said he and his mother decided to go shopping because of the fire.

Matt and Charlotte Robinson came to the District from Los Angeles on the train and even though fire snarled their plans for a moment it didn't mar their trip.

"We had a wonderful time," she said just before the all-clear was given.

-- Hamil Harris and Theola Labbé-DeBose

By Mike McPhate  |  January 21, 2009; 1:02 PM ET
Categories:  Advisories , Metro  
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Comments

I must have just returned from lunch @ Union Station moments before the evacuation.

The place is madhouse. I'm not sure if the crowds are tourists, travels, or a mix, but there's not a seat to be had anywhere, and they are still cleaning up stages, decor, and other inaugural paraphernalia.

And they still haven't removed the crowd barricades around the perimeter of Columbus Circle either.

Posted by: zizzy | January 21, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

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