D.C. Firefighters Fight Wind-Whipped Fatal Row House Fire

A space heater has been blamed for a second alarm fire that claimed the lives of four people in the nation's capital on Monday, December 20, 2004.

Washington, D.C. firefighters responding to the pre-dawn box alarm at 418 17th Street N.E. found heavy fire engulfing the basement and first floors of a two story, attached brick row dwelling.

Desperate attempts to advance into the blazing home were thwarted by gale force winds that whipped the flames to blowtorch proportions.

The blaze eventually took full possesion of the dwelling, resulting in an interior collapse.

Of the four victims, an elderly man fatally injured himself by jumping from a second floor window, and a mother and two children were found inside the collapsed rubble after an extended search.

It took an assignment of ten engines, five trucks, two heavy rescues, and multiple support units and command staff to bring the fire, fought in zero wind chill temperatures, under control.