Fire damages shed, vehicles at Md. US Department of Agriculture campus

The workshop area that was in flames Tuesday morning. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
The workshop area that was in flames Tuesday morning. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)

The scene of the fire at the USDA facility in Beltsville Tuesday. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
The scene of the fire at the USDA facility in Beltsville Tuesday. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)

ATF Special Agent David Cheplak at the scene of the fire Tuesday afternoon. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
ATF Special Agent David Cheplak at the scene of the fire Tuesday afternoon. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)

Prince George's County Fire and EMS spokesman Mark Brady speaks at the scene of the fire Tuesday afternoon. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
Prince George’s County Fire and EMS spokesman Mark Brady speaks at the scene of the fire Tuesday afternoon. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)

(WTOP/Kate Ryan)
(WTOP/Kate Ryan)
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The workshop area that was in flames Tuesday morning. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
The scene of the fire at the USDA facility in Beltsville Tuesday. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
ATF Special Agent David Cheplak at the scene of the fire Tuesday afternoon. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
Prince George's County Fire and EMS spokesman Mark Brady speaks at the scene of the fire Tuesday afternoon. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)

WASHINGTON — A fire broke out at the U.S. Department of Agriculture facility in Prince George’s County Tuesday morning, damaging a wooden structure and some vehicles.

The two-alarm fire began around 10 a.m. at the USDA campus in Beltsville, Maryland. The fire was in a wooden structure Prince George’s County Fire and EMS spokesman Mark Brady referred to as a on-story, 300-foot-long shed.

Several vehicles inside the shed were damaged in the blaze. There were no injuries, he added.

“Some vehicles sustained fire damage including stored ATVs,” Brady said.

Fire crews extinguished the blaze in about 45 minutes. Investigators have not yet released details about what caused the fire.

There is no indication that the fire was a criminal act and there was no unauthorized access to the area, said Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives spokesman David Cheplak. ATF investigators often investigate large fires and fires at federal facilities.

Video from the scene shows smoke billowing from the building as firefighters douse the blaze from a ladder atop a truck.

The fire was on Powder Mill Road, which closed between the Baltimore Washington Parkway and Edmunston Road during the fire fight.

Last week, the Department of Agriculture closed offices in five states  — including the Beltsville office — after receiving anonymous threats that raised concerns about the safety of USDA personnel and facilities, said USDA spokesman Matthew Herrick. The offices reopened Aug. 31.

It’s not clear if the fire was in any way connected to the threats.

Below is a map with the location of the fire:

WTOP’s Abigail Constantino contributed to this report from Washington and Kate Ryan contributed to this report from Beltsville. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Sarah Beth Hensley

Sarah Beth Hensley is the Digital News Director at WTOP. She has worked several different roles since she began with WTOP in 2013 and has contributed to award-winning stories and coverage on the website.

Colleen Kelleher

Colleen Kelleher is an award-winning journalist who has been with WTOP since 1996. Kelleher joined WTOP as the afternoon radio writer and night and weekend editor and made the move to WTOP.com in 2001. Now she works early mornings as the site's Senior Digital Editor.

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