Arsonist Starts Fire at National Archives
Press Release · Friday, April 26, 2019

Washington, DC

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.

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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



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For media inquiries, please contact: National Archives Public and Media Communications at (202) 357-5300 or via email at

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This page was last reviewed on April 26, 2019.
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