Arsonist Starts Fire at the U.S. National Archives

The following is an announcement from the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA):

An unidentified person started a fire outside the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, at about 8 p.m. yesterday, April 25. No one was injured, and the building sustained some damage to the exterior wall.

The arsonist placed a gas container on the left side of the building on Pennsylvania Avenue and lit it on fire. Security officers discovered the blaze and unsuccessfully attempted to put it out, but a fire department responded and was able to extinguish the flames. Facilities staff are cleaning the area today.

This video clip from surveillance cameras show the perpetrator, wearing dark pants and a dark jacket over a light colored hooded shirt with the hood up, performing the act and running away.

The incident is under investigation by multiple agencies, including the NARA Office of the Inspector General. Anyone who might have any information about this incident should contact the NARA OIG hotline at 1-800-786-2551 or


Christine Hetherington April 26, 2019 at 10:41 pm

Did they catch them? Because I would venture a guess that about half a million furious genealogists would like to have a chance to beat the s&@t out of them.


I would guess if they catch this guy, he won’t face the sentence I feel he deserves. It reminds me of the fact that WWII records were burned in St Louis around 1970 in protest of the Vietnam War. Nothing says I’m against a current war then destroying records of veterans. What would motivate anyone to destroy any historic records?


FYI, the National Personnel Center fire in St. Louis in 1973 happened due to construction, not in protest of the war.


They are trying to destroy our monuments and history like they did in other countries. It’s time to put s stop to this. We need to be vigilant!!


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