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Package Addressed To Homeland Security Secretary Ignites

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WASHINGTON- A piece of mail addressed to Homeland Security Secretary Janet
Napolitano ignited Friday at a U.S. Postal Service facility in Washington, a
day after suspicious letters "flared up" at state government buildings in
neighboring Maryland, authorities said. Police said no one was injured.FBI
spokeswoman Lindsay Godwin said initial information indicated the parcel
that ignited in northeast Washington about 2:45 p.m. was similar to the two
packages opened in Maryland on Thursday.

A postal worker at the D.C. facility tossed the package into a sorting bin,
and when another package was tossed on top, it "flashed" and then quickly
went out, an official told NBC News.The postal facility was evacuated and no
one was hurt.Federal officials confirmed to NBC News that the package was
addressed to Napolitano.The postal facility handles government mail in
northeast Washington, a law enforcement official told WRC-TV.

Earlier Friday, investigators revealed that two packages sent to Maryland's
governor and transportation secretary that ignited when they were opened
contained the same note railing against highway signs urging motorists to
report suspicious activity.

The message read: "Report suspicious activity! Total Bull----! You have
created a self fulfilling prophecy."

Numerous pieces of physical evidence were recovered from the scene of the
package sent to the transportation department, State Fire Marshal William
Barnard said, but police have not yet identified any suspects. The packages,
addressed to Gov. Martin O'Malley and to Transportation Secretary Beverley
Swaim-Staley, have been taken to the FBI lab in Quantico, Va., for forensic
analysis. They were opened within a 15-minute period Thursday at state
government buildings 20 miles apart. The workers who opened the packages
singed their fingers, but there were no significant injuries.

Soon after, mailrooms across Maryland were cleared and two other suspicious
packages uncovered, though they turned out to be a toner cartridge and
laptop batteries. Explosive material wasn't found in either package that
ignited and authorities aren't sure if any other dangerous packages are out
there, but mailroom employees were back at work Friday. They had pictures of
the packages and were advised to be vigilant about anything suspicious.

Meanwhile, the packages have prompted officials in at least four nearby
states to be more vigilant. O'Malley, a Democrat, had said previously that
the mailing sent to him complained about highway signs that urge motorists
to "Report Suspicious Activity" and give an 800 number.

"Somebody doesn't like seeing that sign," O'Malley said late Thursday.

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