Fire at JFK Library Under Investigation

April 16, 2013
Minutes after the blasts at the Boston Marathon a fire broke out at the JFK Library and Museum.

April 16--A fire broke out at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum yesterday afternoon just minutes after two explosions at the Boston Marathon finish line, sending black smoke pouring from the historic building and dozens of police and federal agents scrambling to find out whether the fire was connected to the Copley Square attacks.

"The preliminary investigation indicates that the incident at the JFK may not have been an explosion. It may have been a fire," said Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis in an announcement.

Earlier in the day, Davis said investigators did not know if the two incidents were linked, but were treating them as if they were.

The cause of the fire was still under investigation last night, but police said the damage at the library may have been caused by a fire or "an incendiary" device.

Two deadly explosions almost simultaneously rocked the Copley Square area near the finish line yesterday on Boylston Street at 2:50 p.m.

Meanwhile, alarms went off at the library around 3 p.m. as smoke from the building filled the sky over the harbor.

Dozens of emergency crews -- including city firefighters and police and federal agents wearing jackets with "U.S. Secret Service" on the back -- swarmed the scene and sealed off the library as investigators combed the charred building.

JFK Library spokeswoman Rachel Flor said no one was injured in the fire, which left a mark of black soot along the facade of one side of the building.

She noted that library staff heard a loud noise before the fire but didn't know the cause.

"We did hear something that sounded like an explosion," she said.

John Boutin of Raynham was walking along the Harborwalk when he saw the smoke.

"All of a sudden I heard the alarms go off and looked up and saw thick black smoke. It was very thick and it was very black," he said.

Copyright 2013 - Boston Herald

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