|Looking south, numbers 1-6 photos; looking west number 7; looking southeast numbers 8-10.|
24 October 2006. Add Google Earth photos.
Ryan Bagwell (RBagwell[at]capitalgazette.com) answers an email inquiry that he was the reporter and Andy Carruthers was the photographer in this banishment and censorship account of the Fort Meade fire:
Army CID representatives forced a reporter and photographer from The Capital to leave the base about 30 minutes after they were allowed in. Officials told the photographer to erase all photos from his digital camera, and started ordering dozens of onlookers to clear the scene by about 5 p.m.
cache of 902nd MI directions:
From the Visitor Control Center:
Follow Reece Road to the "T" in the road. Turn left onto Cooper Ave, then right (at the light) on Mapes Rd; take the first left onto Griffin Ave. The 902d building complex will be stright ahead; the main entrance for the 902nd is on the left side of the first floor in Building 4554.
23 October 2006
By RYAN BAGWELL and PAMELA WOOD, Staff Writers
Published October 21, 2006, The Capital, Annapolis, Md.
Firefighters from 3 counties battle 6-alarm blaze
A massive fire roared through a sensitive building at Fort George G. Meade yesterday, causing damages that U.S. Army officials were reluctant to talk about.
Thick brown smoke billowed for hours from Nathan Hale Hall, a four-story World War II-era building apparently home to a military intelligence unit.
Sixty-nine firefighters started streaming to the scene just after 3 p.m., said Lt. Russ Davies, a spokesman for the county fire department. Firefighters from other counties and Fort Meade also aided in bringing the blaze under control.
A sign outside the building said it was the headquarters of the 902nd Military Intelligence Group. Scaffolding and a trash chute were set up outside, apparently for some kind of renovation.
At least three ladder trucks pumped water onto the brick-clad building, while high winds fanned flames and blew smoke that could be seen from several miles away.
Firefighters from Fort Meade and Anne Arundel, Howard and Prince George's counties battled the six-alarm blaze, according to Lt. Col. James Peterson, director of emergency services at Fort Meade.
At a news conference last night, Col. Peterson said part of the roof of the three-story building collapsed onto a lower floor before the fire was contained. Efforts to contain the flames were complicated by strong winds.
"We don't really know the cause. We just know it started on the roof of the structure," he said. He added that minor construction was under way in the area of the roof where the fire started.
The building was evacuated and everyone got out, he said, but one firefighter twisted his leg fighting the blaze. There is no damage estimate and base officials will investigate the cause today Peterson said.
Jennifer Downing, a Fort Meade spokesman, would only confirm a fire was burning at 4554 Llewellyn Ave., deep inside the west county Army post. She directed calls to a spokesman with the Army's Criminal Investigation Division, who did not respond to two telephone messages.
Fort Meade's fire chief also did not return calls for comment. Later, a public affairs officer told The Capital to file a Freedom of Information Act request for information.
Ms. Downing told The Associated Press a firefighter suffered a minor leg injury.
Army CID representatives forced a reporter and photographer from The Capital to leave the base about 30 minutes after they were allowed in. Officials told the photographer to erase all photos from his digital camera, and started ordering dozens of onlookers to clear the scene by about 5 p.m. [Ryan Bagwell answers an email inquiry that he was the reporter and the photographer was Andy Carruthers.]
Nicknamed "The Deuce" and led by Col. Christopher L. Winne who took command in July, the 902nd is the Army's largest counterintelligence unit with more than 1,000 people.
According to the its Web site, the group "conducts counterintelligence activities in support of Army commanders and to protect Army forces, secrets and technologies by detecting, identifying, neutralizing and exploiting foreign intelligence services and international terrorist threats."
Its "core competencies" include espionage, computer forensics, surveillance and polygraph, the Web site states.
NBC's Dateline program reported last December that members of the 902nd infiltrated an anti-war Quaker group in Florida called the Truth Project.
The Truth Project was deemed to be a threat, NBC reported.
The archives of Soundoff!, Fort Meade's in-house newspaper, said Hale Hall is named for Capt. Nathan Hale, a spy for the colonies who was hung by the British.
He's known for his famous last words: "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Washington Post, October 21, 2006
Fire Damages Fort Meade Intelligence Building
Firefighters work on a office building fire at Fort Meade, Md.,
Fire burns Fort Meade office complex
Building site of army intelligence data; firefighter suffers minor leg injuries
By A Sun Reporter
Originally published October 20, 2006, 5:43 PM EDT
A multi-alarm fire has broken out at Fort Meade in an office building containing sensitive information.
One firefighter has suffered minor leg injuries in the blaze at 4554 Llewellyn Ave. [Correction: Building 4554 on Llewellyn Ave. See Google cache of 902 MI directions] on the Army post in western Anne Arundel County. The building, Nathan Hale Hall, is headquarters for the 902nd Military Intelligence Group.
The area was evacuated shortly after the fire broke out at 3:50 p.m. Firefighters from Prince George's and Anne Arundel counties and Fort Meade are responding.
Jennifer Downing, a Fort Meade spokeswoman, said at 5:20 p.m. that the fire is not yet under control.
902nd Military Intelligence Group Overview:
Link now dead, see mirror: