No COVID-19 vaccines stored in building that caught fire in Italy

CLAIM: A video shows a fire at a military warehouse in Italy that was storing COVID-19 vaccines. The fire occurred on the date members of law enforcement had to be vaccinated.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The video shows a fire at a barracks that houses Carabinieri, Italian paramilitary police, in Rome on Dec. 15, the deadline for members of law enforcement to be vaccinated in Italy. But vaccinations are not given at the site and no vaccines were stored in the building.

THE FACTS: Social media users are sharing a video that shows a fire consuming a building in Italy along with the false claim that the building is a military warehouse that stores COVID-19 vaccines.

One Twitter post erroneously asserted that: “after the mandatory vaccination for all security forces is approved, the military warehouse where the vaccines were stored magically catches fire.”

While a fire did occur at the Salvo D’Acquisto barracks on Dec. 15, the vaccination deadline, the site did not contain a store of COVID shots, a spokesperson for the Carabinieri confirmed to The Associated Press. Carabinieri are paramilitary police in Italy and are posted in every town and city in Italy.

The spokesperson said the fire affected an area used as housing, and that vaccinations are not performed at the location. There is an infirmary at the barrack, but it is used for everyday medical calls, officials said.

Some Italian news outlets reported on the fire at the time, including iNews24. The outlet shared a video of one angle of the fire on Facebook. Their video, which contained a watermark, was among those misappropriated on social media. But iNews24’s coverage did not mention vaccines or the vaccine mandate, nor did other local reports. The video caption just said the footage showed the “carabinieri barracks are on fire.”

The cause of the fire remains unknown. One person was injured.


Associated Press writer Colleen Barry in Milan contributed to this report.


This is part of AP’s effort to address widely shared misinformation, including work with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content that is circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP.