WASHINGTON, D.C. A fire on Tuesday gutted a storage shed at a U.S. Department of Agriculture complex in Maryland that was closed last week because of threats, fire officials said.A spokesman for the Prince George’s County fire department reported the blaze at Building 426 at the USDA’s Beltsville facility was extinguished just under two hours after he sent an initial tweet on it.An Agriculture Department statement said the fire occurred at a storage shed and there were no injuries. The cause of the blaze is under investigation, it added.Live TV footage showed the wood frame building engulfed in flames, with part of the walls missing and a section of the roof gone as firefighters poured water onto the structure.A USDA spokeswoman had no details on whether the building was burned to the ground, or if anything was stolen.WUSA, a CBS television affiliate, quoted workers as saying the building had been used to store posters.Last week, USDA facilities in five states, including the one in Beltsville, a Washington, D.C., suburb, and one in Raleigh, were closed after receiving anonymous threats.Scientists at the Beltsville site research poultry diseases, soybean genetics and genetic modification of food animals, according to its website.The fire department and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are investigating the fire, the fire department spokesman said on Twitter.The fire, at the USDA facility in Beltsville outside of Washington, was at building 426, said a spokesman for Prince George’s County’s fire and emergency medical services.Last week, USDA facilities in five states, including the one in Beltsville and one in Raleigh, were closed after receiving anonymous threats.Live television footage showed ladder trucks and firefighters on foot pouring water on a frame structure with much of its metal roof off.A fire department spokesman on Twitter described an initial “heavy volume” of fire, but later said most of the visible fire was out.CBS News, citing sources, reported that Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives officials have been sent to the fire scene.
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