Advertisement

Fake 911 Report of Fire at the White House Triggers Emergency Response

A firetruck is parked outside of the White House in Washington, Dec. 19, 2007. A fake 911 call that the White House was on fire sent emergency vehicles to the complex Monday morning. Credit - Ron Edmonds—AP Photo

(WASHINGTON) — A fake 911 call that the White House was on fire sent emergency vehicles to the complex Monday morning, when President Joe Biden and his family were at Camp David.

Fire engines and other emergency vehicles responded to a report just after 7 a.m. that the White House was ablaze and a person was trapped inside, according to a person familiar with the matter. The person was not authorized to talk about the fake emergency call and spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity. Within minutes, District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services and U.S. Secret Service personnel determined that it was a false report and called off the response.

Someone who was reached at the callback number for the 911 report indicated they did not place it, the person said, indicating it was likely spoofed.

Biden is set to return to the White House on Monday afternoon after spending part of the weekend at the presidential retreat in Maryland and participating in a service event in Philadelphia to mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Contact us at letters@time.com.