VIDEO: Fire Destroys USDA Storage Facility Days After Anonymous Email Threats

A fire broke out in a U.S. Department of Agriculture storage facility in Maryland Tuesday morning, just days after the facility was closed due to anonymous email threats.

A spokesman for the Prince George’s County Fire Department told Reuters that the fire at the Beltsville USDA facility was extinguished just under two hours after the department tweeted about it.

A statement from the USDA said the fire started in a storage shed and that there were no injuries, but the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

FOX 5 DC reports that the facility was “used to house vehicles and oil drums” and that “vehicles caught fire fueling the fire.”

The facility just re-opened recently after several anonymous email threats closed down 6 USDA facilities last week, FOX 5 reported.

The department received “several anonymous messages” last week that threatened to endanger USDA personnel and facilities, according to USDA spokesman Matthew Herrick.

Herrick said to the Associated Press that the threat was one email sent to multiple employees at 6 different locations.

The Beltsville, Maryland, facility was one of 6 facilities closed as a result of the email threats.

The other 5 facilities were located in Fort Collins, Colorado; Hamden, Connecticut; Raleigh, North Carolina; Kearneysville, West Virginia; and Leetown, West Virginia, according to the AP.

The Prince George’s County Fire Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms are investigating the incident, according to the fire department’s spokesman.


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