Package Ignites At Washington DC Postal Facility - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Envelope Sent To Napolitano Ignites At D.C. Postal Facility

Washington (CNN) -- An envelope that ignited Friday at a Washington postal sorting facility was addressed to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, a department official confirmed.

Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier would not comment on markings on the package, or if it contained a note, but she said it was "similar in nature" to devices that ignited Thursday in two Maryland state offices.

At least one device was found, police said. Lanier said officers were continuing a search for any other possible devices.

U.S. Postal Inspector Pete Rendina said inspectors were screening mail at facilities in the Washington metro area.

Napolitano, who was in Washington Friday, returned Thursday from a weeklong trip to Europe and the Middle East.

The building at 3300 V Street NE was evacuated, police spokeswoman Tisha Gant said.

The envelope that ignited was not opened and did not go off in an employee's hands, a law enforcement source said. The person tossed it into a sorting bin and then smelled smoke. A source on the scene said that all the employees had been accounted for.

Lanier said there were popping sounds, smoke and a brief flash of fire. No one was injured.

The FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have sent agents to the Washington facility.

The facility -- which was built after the 2001 anthrax attacks to screen mail headed for federal offices -- is a few blocks from the District of Columbia's border with Maryland. Amtrak tracks are nearby.

Mailed devices containing a small battery and an electric match ignited in two Maryland state offices Thursday, mildly wounding two state employees when they opened the packages. The Maryland offices affected were in Baltimore and Annapolis.

Messages accompanying the devices used the words "report suspicious activity." Based on the packages' destinations, a government official told CNN he thinks the person was referring to flashing road signs posted on some Maryland roads that carry those words.

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