On Tuesday, July 21, 2020, at 8:03 p.m.the Houston Fire Department responded to a fire in a courtyard at the Chinese Consulate. Initial crews arrived on location and reported no visible flames or smoke. Fire crews were denied access by building occupants. According to the international agreement, access to the property can only be obtained with consent HFD remained on location outside the structure until it was confirmed that there was no fire threat to occupants and the surrounding community.
Fire Chief Sam Peña says "Any questions regarding the cause and nature of this incident will be referred to The State Department."
According to a report from CNN, "The United States government has abruptly ordered China to "cease all operations and events" at its consulate in Houston, Texas, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, in what it called an "unprecedented escalation" in recent actions taken by Washington."