Capitol Police Send Out E-mail Looking for Information on Senate Fires

Posted November 8, 2007 at 11:20am

Capitol Police have issued another e-mailed request to Senate staff asking for any details that could help them find out who is responsible for setting seven fires in two Senate office buildings since late September.

In a message sent to Senate staffers at 5:35 p.m. Wednesday, the department wrote that it is looking for any person seen around the restrooms located near room 200 in the Dirksen Senate Office Building between 7 and 8:30 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 2, according to the e-mail.

That’s where and when the most recent in a series of seven office building fires took place. The Nov. 2 fire — which was quickly extinguished by Capitol Police — prompted the evacuation of the Dirksen building after an Architect of the Capitol employee pulled a manual trigger for an audible alarm.

The department is asking for information about “suspicious individuals, activity, or conversations relating to the fire,” the request reads.

Six other fires have taken place in Dirksen and Hart Senate Office Buildings. The first broke out in Hart on Sept. 26, and a second followed on Sept. 28.

On Oct. 3, three fires took place in women’s restrooms in the Dirksen and Hart buildings, and on Oct. 31, the two buildings were evacuated after a small fire broke out in a stairwell of the Dirksen basement.

None of the fires has caused any injuries, and all were extinguished quickly by Capitol Police patrolling nearby.

Aside from asking for help from the public, Capitol Police are increasing foot patrols and security efforts around the two office buildings, and are looking at additional restrooms where suspicious activity has been reported.

In its e-mail, the department asked anyone with information on the blazes to contact the squad’s criminal investigations section at 202-224-7018.