Horrible Fire in Bloomingdale/Ledroit Park Monday Afternoon

Photo by Justin Burkhardt

“Dear PoP,

Horrible fire on the NE corner of 2nd and Thomas St, NW around 4pm Monday afternoon.

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I don’t know how it started or if there were people inside; haven’t seen anyone (civilians) be taken out; very scary and sad; under control but flames still teeming from the roof. It started in 1923 and spread to 1925; firemen burst into 1927 as well but not sure if that house (3rd from end) received damage from the fire. Scary.”

Another reader writes,

“All I know was that the fire started in the basement. No one was hurt; the person in the adjacent house was treated for minor smoke inhalation, as well as some of the firefighters.”

Photo by Justin Burkhardt

More photos after the jump:

Photo by Veronica B.

Photo by Veronica B.

Photo by Veronica B.

Photo by Veronica B.

Photo by Justin Burkhardt

Photo by Justin Burkhardt

22 Comment

  • I was down there when I saw the smoke. I’m not sure if there was a problem but it took like 10-15 minutes after the trucks got there until they got water on the fire. Seemed like an eternity.

  • Does anyone know more about how this fire started? It’s being reported that it started in the basement; I’m curious if it’s a finished basement apartment with a renter or just a storage basement for the homeowners.

  • it was crazy violent. horrifying to see in person. they seemed to have put it out at one point only to have it flare up again. FD was still on the scene when I left for work this morning

  • I didn’t notice until trying to drive down 1st a little after 5:00 (we live 4 blocks away but the smoke was blowing the other way). Must have been a 5 or 6 alarm fire, there were several pumpers on the surrounding blocks. One was even parked a block away outside of Windows Cafe running water from that hydrant (I REALLY hope the hydrant pressure issue that was in the news last year didn’t delay the response to this one). RI Ave was blocked from 1st to 4th as were most residential streets in Ledroit near the fire. Hope everybody is OK.

  • another reason not to move to fire-ridden bloomingdale

  • I’m anxious to find out what caused the fire; I hope they come to a definitive conclusion.

  • Is that why RI Ave was blocked off yesterday? I could see fire trucks and police cruisers hanging out between 3rd and 4th, but I couldn’t see the fire from my place. Scary. I hope everyone escaped injury-free.

  • Bloomingdale is a great little neighborhood. Sure, we are not without some problems, but there is a growing sense of community here. A feeeling of community is not something many neighborhoods in DC have.

  • I was wonderng why they bloacked off the road.

  • It was a 2 alarm fire.

  • The new word is that the owner, Sidney Buffalow, who lived in the basement, was about to go into foreclosure on the house, the very next day, Tuesday, January 18. (Monday was MLK, Jr. Holiday). The tenant, Kathleen Rand Reed, had lived on the first and second floor for 15 years since 1996 and is a researcher and anthropologist. Reed was going to exercise her TOPA (Tenants’ Opportunity to Purchase Act) rights and Buffalow could not short sell the house before he lost it through foreclosure and yet he had to, by law, respect the DC TOPA laws. Reed also could not be evicted during the foreclosure, but just pay the bank her rent. The owner simply torched the place to get the insurance money. He placed all the residents on 2nd Street and Thomas Street in jeopardy with his greed.

    That’s the real story!! Hopefully, the DCFD investigators will track the origins and the way he did it.

    Pissed Bloomingdale Neighbor.

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