Apartment Fire Kills 1, Building Evacuated at 3132 16th St, NW in Mt. Pleasant/Columbia Heights

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Washington Post reports:

“One person was killed and several others were critically injured early Wednesday in an apartment building fire that shut down 16th Street NW, a major commuter artery, during the morning rush, officials said.

Firefighters were called to the blaze, in the 3100 block of 16th Street in Columbia Heights, at 3:45 a.m., said D.C. fire department spokesman Pete Piringer. They escorted dozens of people out of the eight-story building, carrying some through smoke-filled hallways or down ladders. One person jumped from an upper story and was gravely injured.”

TBD reports:

“The deceased is reportedly a 38-year-old man, AP reports. D.C. fire department spokesman Pete Piringer says two people are listed in serious condition and another three are listed in critical condition, including a child. Piringer says 125 people have been displaced and were given shelter at a nearby recreation center.”

They have photos here.

25 Comment

  • Dont want to alarm anyone, but all those cars burning in recent days? arson? hate motivated?

    • I don’t want to alarm anyone, but Vince Gray was seen on 16th Street once.

    • When you say “all those” -what do you mean? One was set fire in our alley on New Yrs Eve and there was another on my block (14-16 Monroe) last week. Have there been more? It’s really disturbing.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    A reader notes nearby at Mt. Pleasant and Irving”

    “This morning on the H4 to the CH metro station (at about 8am), we drove by a woman lying in the street on the corner of Mt. Plesant and Irving, closer to the NE corner. She seemed to be in a lot of pain. There were numerous people standing around including at least 2 police officers, one of which was taking a report from a cyclist. With all the commotion on 16th, I’m not sure how quickly an ambulance got to the scene. Does anyone have more details on this incident.”

    • The woman at the corner of Mt. Pleasant and Irving was on her bike and hit by a car I believe. She did seem like she was in a great deal of pain. Cops were obviously in the area and responded within a minute and the ambulance was there a couple mins later. Not sure how badly hurt she was, but they were putting a neck brace on her.

    • On my way to work (I take the CH metro) just before 9, I asked a reporter what had happened to cause the massive EMS presence on 16th, and he told me there had been a building fire and that a woman had “had her legs crushed” by a car. He told me to be careful crossing the street.

      Do you know if that is in fact what happened? Really awful morning, in any case.

  • The proximity to the apartment building on Mt. Pleasant Street that was gutted by fire a few years ago is truly chilling. Best of luck to the displaced, may they get back into their homes soon.

  • May he/she who passed find peace in the next life.

    May whoever is seriously injured recover fully.

  • I live on the block and woke up to a terrible burning smell and lots of screaming. When I went outside to see what was going on, the fire department told me it was “just a routine building fire.”

    Really, really awful.

  • That building always struck me as a bit run down- does anyone know if it had any code violations?

  • I heard on NPR this morning that there were two fires: one on 16th between Harvard & Park, and one on Lamont St between 16th & 17th. Does anyone have information about the second fire?

  • PoP, can you find out if the people who have been displaced to the rec center need/are taking donations (diapers, dried or canned goods, etc.)?

  • Thanks for posting the Martha’s Table info. I have a couple bags of kids clothes I’ve been meaning to take to goodwill, and will sort through my child’s toys tonight to collect a bunch of those as well.

    If you get more info on specific items that are needed more than others, it would be nice not to overload them with stuff that would just get in the way.

    • Same here. We just brought a ton of stuff to Goodwill, but there’s always more that needs to go. Knowing specifically what’s needed would be great!

  • Huge cloud of acrid smoke drifted down 16th st. corridor waking many in my building.

    the proximity to Mt. Pleasant building is indeed chilling. what caused that fire? could this be arson?

    • I don’t think they ever determined the cause of the other fire, despite speculation about arson. From an article two months after it happened:

      “Homeless man seen leaving apartment complex before blaze
      The Examiner
      2008-05-09 07:00:00.0

      Four minutes before a blaze was reported that would gut a Mount Pleasant apartment complex in March, security cameras recorded a homeless man who had been banned from the property leaving the scene, according to court records. The man, who has a long history of mental illness, was charged with unlawful entry.
      But the intense nature of the fire consumed any physical evidence that might have been gathered, leaving arson task force officials frustrated in their efforts to close the case. … “There are fires that happen that go unsolved because the evidence is completely destroyed,”said D.C. fire department spokesman Alan Etter. “I don’t want to say this is one of them because it remains under investigation.”

  • Until Martha’s Table posts some more specifics on donations (I’m sure they’re pretty busy right now) can I share a few tips. Usually in a case like this they don’t really need canned & dried food – it isn’t practical for displaced people to carry around. (Though Martha’s Table can always use it for their general food pantry.)

    They probably also don’t need to deal with bags of donated used clothing – though donations of NEW underwear are usually welcome.

    The Red Cross has a pretty comprehensive team that provides help in the first few days – housing, food vouchers etc. So donations of money are always helpful.

  • Also, small toys & books, coloring books, game books, etc. are always welcome for young children who will be sitting around bored in hotel rooms or offices while parents deal with paperwork. Think small – portable – stuff you would get for your child to take on a plane trip.


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