A fire that started late Monday night destroyed the POW/MIA shack that has sat for decades between the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. Sometimes known as “The Last Firebase, ” the small shack has been praised as a reminder of those still missing in action from the Vietnam War, and criticized as being an eyesore and a commercial enterprise near the National Mall.
“They would have memorabilia tell the story of Vietnam vets. They vowed to remain here until the story of all the prisoners of wars was finally known, ” Tim Krepp, an independent tour guide, told WAMU radio.
“At one point, there were six or seven of them selling t-shirts. That was stopped by the National Park Service back in the mid-90s. Most of them closed up shop and went home, but this [one] guy stuck around for a while until last night.”
According to the radio report, Washington, D.C., fire officials said they believed the blaze was set accidentally.