Minor Fire Closes Perkins Building, Jobs Report Still Issued

The U.S. Department of Labor reports minimal fire damage but some water impact to the fourth, third, second, and plaza levels of the Francis Perkins Building resulted from sprinkler activation.

The Labor Department issued the weekly employment report on May 3 as usual, despite an early morning fire in its Washington, D.C., headquarters building that caused it to be closed for the day. DOL reported that U.S. employers added 165,000 jobs in April and that hiring was stronger in the prior two months than it had previously estimated -- with 332,000 jobs added in February and 138,000 in March. The unemployment rate has declined from 7.6 to 7.5 percent, according to the report.

The fire was detected in a cubicle on the fourth floor of the North side of the Frances Perkins Building. No injuries have been reported and only minimal fire damage, but DOL has posted an update saying the fourth, third, second, and plaza levels on the North side of the building were affected by water from the sprinkler system.

"A restoration contractor has been on site much of the morning conducting clean-up operations, and this afternoon an industrial hygienist will conduct air quality monitoring. While the majority of the building is unaffected, the FPB will be closed this weekend in order to allow these remediation efforts to take place," it says.

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