Several thousand federal agriculture employees got an unexpected day off today after an electrical fire in the Department of Agriculture's South Building forced power to be turned off to the building.
The small basement fire, which was quickly contained, occurred at 4:30 a.m. during routine electrical maintenance, said USDA spokesman Justin DeJong.
About 6,300 employees work in the South Building, including Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, a Pittsburgh native. Mr. Vilsack didn't take the day off, though. Instead, he worked out of the nearby U.S. Forrest Service he co-opted some space in the nearby U.S. Forrest Service's headquarters.
The USDA building is expected to re-open tomorrow.
Mr. DeLong could not immediately provide a damage estimate.