FORT BELVOIR, VA — In an event that has left defense officials speechless, the Pentagon’s top safety organization recently suffered the embarrassment of having its headquarters building catch fire and burn to the ground.
According to officials from Fort Belvoir, the Center for Operational Risk Management, was “thoroughly gutted” by last night’s blaze and is now completely unusable.
The fire is believed to have started around 3 a.m. and was first noticed by the building’s night watchman upon his return from a routine off-base beer run.
A preliminary investigation by the Fort Belvoir Fire Department suggests that the fire started after several thousand copies of this month’s Safety Update were improperly stored next to two “grossly overloaded” electrical outlets.
The report also believes numerous safety code violations — such as a pile of oily rags and several buckets of paint — all conveniently stored next to a generator in a closet marked “Fire Hazards,” contributed to the speed and strength of the blaze.
Over the course of the investigation, the Fire Department also discovered that the safety building was never properly certified for fire, earthquakes, hurricanes, or anything else for that matter.
Embarrassed officials later admitted they had actually forgotten to appoint a safety inspector for their own building, and just assumed everything was up to code. The report also noted the complete lack of smoke detectors and fire suppression systems, which officials sheepishly revealed they’d forgotten to install.
Firefighters also say that at one point the building’s hazardous materials lockers somehow all spontaneously combusted, raising the potential of noxious fumes spreading to base housing. However, officials cheerfully pointed out that the blaze was contained by the building’s asbestos and that no one was ever in danger.
More seriously, firefighters were apparently unable to safely approach the building, as dozens of employees has improperly stored personal firearms and ammunition at their desks, which kept cooking off.
Investigators have conclusively ruled out any connection between the fire and the illegal cable and Internet access that was spliced into the building, but disconnected both as a precaution.
When reached for comment, Center chief Pat Donner said, “It’s important to remember that adverse weather conditions can cause serious problems for service members and civilians commuting to work. Make sure to check weather forecasts every day on radio, TV, cable weather channel, or in the daily papers.”