Fake fire report at White House triggers emergency response — RT World News

Fake fire report at White House triggers emergency response — RT World News

The false claim of a blaze at the US president’s home has come amid a wave of “swatting” calls targeting political figures

Fire crews and other emergency responders have rushed to the White House following a bogus 911 call falsely claiming that US President Joe Biden’s home was ablaze with someone trapped inside.

The false emergency call was made on Monday morning in Washington, triggering a quick response by the District of Columbia’s fire and ambulance services. Crews were on their way to the White House within one minute of the call, “and in coordination with the Secret Service, it was determined there was no fire emergency,” DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) spokesman Noah Gray told the New York Post.

Thirteen emergency vehicles reportedly swarmed the White House before the call was confirmed to be a ruse. Biden was at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland during the incident and was scheduled to return home on Monday afternoon.

The fake White House emergency comes amid a series of so-called swatting incidents targeting US political figures in recent weeks. Swatting calls are typically made to spur potentially violent altercations between police SWAT teams and the unwitting targets of pranksters. For instance, Republican lawmakers Marjorie Taylor Greene and Brandon Williams were targeted at their homes on Christmas Day with swatting calls falsely reporting violent crimes in progress.

Emergency callers also have made false reports in recent weeks claiming violent crimes were in progress at the homes of Jack Smith, the special counsel handling two federal criminal prosecutions against former US President Donald Trump, and Tanya Chutkan, the judge hearing one of those cases. Government buildings in several US states were evacuated earlier this month, in response to an emailed bomb threat.

Swatting calls have led to multiple deaths in the US. For example, a Tennessee man was fatally shot by police responding to a false emergency call in April 2020. He was targeted by teenagers who coveted his Twitter handle and were trying to extort him. A Kansas man was killed in 2017, when police stormed his home after a 911 caller falsely claimed that he had shot his father and was holding his other family members hostage.

Former White House aide Steve Bannon, who was targeted by a swatting prankster in 2022, blamed Biden for the incident, saying the president had triggered such dangerous behavior by fomenting hatred of his political enemies.


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