D.C. Fire and EMS crews were called to the State Department Saturday morning after a fire broke out while work crews were performing maintenance in the building.
Fire officials said that the crews put the fire out using handheld extinguishers before emergency personnel arrived, but four construction workers were taken to Washington Hospital Center.
Initially, a fire official on the scene told News4 that the workers had only suffered superficial burns. However, later Saturday afternoon, Lon Walls, a spokesman for D.C. Fire and EMS confirmed that one of the workers had suffered life-threatening injuries, while two other hospitalized workers had suffered serious, but not life-threatening injuries. A fourth worker was taken to the hospital after he injured his knee falling off a ladder. Other burned workers were treated at the scene.
Officials say that the crews were performing maintenance on a duct on the 8th floor of the building when the flash fire broke out. The exact cause is under investigation, though officials say it does not appear to be suspicious in nature.
It is not known if any State Department personnel were in the building at the time of the fire.