WASHINGTON, D.C. – An investigation is underway into why some D.C. personnel records were being burned at the fire academy.
Firefighters responded to a fire in two dumpsters Friday afternoon at the D.C. Fire Training Academy.
According to Firefighter Union officials, after crews brought the blaze under control and looked into and around the dumpsters, they found some of their own personnel documents, as well as documents of their colleagues and of police officers.
They say the documents contained sensitive information, like names, social security numbers and medical records.
Ed Smith, president of the D.C. Firefighters Union, says, “Who knows whatever else was in those files, and that’s why we are requesting the inspector general to get to the bottom of this. We know the when and the where. We want to know the who, the what and the why.”
Another batch of documents was found in a nearby abandoned car at the academy.
According to the union, fire department officials transferred and ordered the burn.
Wednesday, fire academy recruits were out at the dumpsters, picking up many documents that may have been left behind.
D.C. police say they are now investigating the matter.
A police spokesperson says the department is looking to see if “any records retention protocols have been violated.”
A statement from the D.C. Fire Department says the whole matter is under investigation.
In the meantime, the police and fire department unions are livid and wondering what the burn really was about.