Fire shuts down Labor Dept. building

WASHINGTON (AP) — An overnight fire at the Labor Department’s headquarters shut the building down for most employees early Friday, but the agency’s monthly employment report was released as scheduled.

Department employees and members of the news media involved in the release of the report were allowed in the building as usual.

But all other Labor employees who were scheduled to work in the Frances Perkins building received administrative leave.

District of Columbia fire department spokesman Lon Walls said the fire was reported around 4:35 a.m., but the sprinkler system extinguished it before firefighters arrived. He said the cause is under investigation.

Fillichio did not immediately have information on how extensive the damage was. The building on Constitution Avenue opened in 1975.

The April jobs report showed unemployment hitting a four-year low, with employers adding 165,000 jobs in April and upwardly revised figures for the previous two months.

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