Press/Journalists

Press Release
December 21, 2003


Fire at the National Archives Building

Washington, DC. . .A small fire broke out at the National Archives Building at 11:15 PM on Saturday, December 20, 2003. The fire, which was caused by a short in an electrical wire, was quickly contained. An initial survey has determined that approximately 100 boxes where records were stored in a small area of the building have sustained water damage. It appears, however, the contents of the boxes have not been affected.

The fire triggered the sprinkler system, immediately extinguishing the flames. The sprinklers remained on for approximately 20 minutes.

National Archives electricians launched an immediate survey of the electrical systems to ensure the safety of the building.

The public spaces of the National Archives Building were not impacted and will open on time to visitors. Hours are 10 AM to 5:30 PM daily for the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom.

For PRESS information contact the National Archives Public Affairs Staff at 301-837-1700.

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The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
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