Fire Breaks out at Australia’s Old Parliament House

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A fire has broken out on the steps of Australia’s Old Parliament House in Canberra forcing staff to evacuate the building.

The incident occurred as protestors carrying Aboriginal flags were gathering outside the building and were heard chanting “let it burn.”

Around 11.45 a.m. on Thursday, emergency services responded to the blaze, according to the Emergency Services Agency

“There’s a lot of police, there’s a lot of police with flags all waving and screaming, a lot of fire trucks,” chef Adrian Richardson told Shane McInnes of 3AW radio.

“I saw the balcony above the front steps bursting into flames.”

Video on social media showed smoke billowing from the front of the building and police cordoning off protestors. It is the second time the building has been set on fire, with the first incident on Dec. 21.

Protestors were seen engaging in altercations with media personnel.

The blaze has reportedly been extinguished.

Old Parliament House is now the home of the Museum of Australian Democracy.

More details to come.

Daniel Y. Teng

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