April 12, 2000
Arrest Follows Fire at Washington National Records Center
College Park, MD. . .The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has been informed that this morning the Federal Protective Service arrested a NARA employee, Marlon M. Mason, charging him with arson in connection with a fire on April 5 in the Washington National Records Center operated by NARA in Suitland, Maryland. The accused employee was turned over to the Fire Marshall of Prince George's County, Maryland.
The fire was discovered by employees in a stack area at the records center, where NARA stores records that are no longer needed by Federal agencies in their Washington area offices, but remain in the agencies' legal custody. NARA employees and contract guards extinguished the fire with hand-held fire extinguishers and were subsequently assisted by the Prince George's Fire Department. No one was injured by the fire, and damage was limited to a few boxes of records, which NARA staff is attempting to salvage.
This fire followed one that broke out in the same records center on February 29. That, too, caused some records damage, but was contained and extinguished without harm to anyone in the building.
NARA employs the accused employee part time as an archives aid. He has worked for NARA since December 27, 1994.
For additional PRESS information, please contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (301) 837-1700 or by e-mail.