WASHINGTON (CNN) - Smoke from a clogged fireplace in Sen. Jon Kyl's Capitol office billowed into the second floor hallway around the Senate chamber for nearly a half hour Tuesday before workers finally used water and a bucket of sand to extinguish the fireplace blaze.
The fire never appeared to put anyone in danger, but heavy smoke caused alarm for senators, staff, and visitors in the Capitol, where security was heightened because of President Barack Obama's address to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night.
"What's this all about?" Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid asked as he stepped off the Senate floor to the smell of smoke.
"Is there smoke?" Senate Sgt. at Arms Terry Gainer asked before proceeding directly to Kyl's office which is at the intersection of two of the busiest hallways in the Capitol.
Because the smoke was gushing out of the fireplace and up and over the ornate mantel in Kyl's office, it appeared the flue was never opened, although several staffers for the Arizona Republican insisted they had opened it.
After the fire was extinguished, a Kyl staffer was heard apologizing to the workers who had put it out.