One Dead, Dozens Injured in D.C. High-Rise Fire


WASHINGTON, D.C. -- One person is dead and dozens more have been injured in a Northwest high-rise apartment fire.

Deputy Chief Kenneth Crosswhite with D.C. Fire and EMS says firefighters were alerted to the blaze in the 3100 block of 16th Street around 3:45 Wednesday morning. Firefighters arriving on scene found flames coming from the 5th story of the eight-story building.

Firefighters used ladders to make rescues. Some victims were also brought down stairs by firefighters while others were forced to shelter in place in the upper floors of the building. Crosswhite says one person, a 38-year-old man, was so desperate he jumped to escape the blaze. He has died.

Crosswhite says eight burn victims have been taken to local hospitals. One of the victims is a child who has been transported to Children's Hospital. Two of the transports were said to be in critical condition, one of which has since died. Crosswhite says approximately forty more victims are being evaluated at the scene for possible transport.

According to Crosswhite, Metro buses have been called to the scene to be used as temporary mobile shelters for displaced residents.

Officials have blocked off 16th Street between Columbia Road and Park Road. Lamont Street is also closed between 16th and 17th Streets. Motorists are advised to avoid the area if possible.

Right now the blaze is under control and firefighters are hitting remaining hot spots. Crosswhite says a fire investigator is on the scene.

Republished with permission of WUSA-TV.