Chilling After Photo of Girard Street Fire

Thanks to a reader for sending. She writes:

“The rubble and smoke next to our new home. Our place and kitty are ok.”

More after photos I took this afternoon after the jump.

21 Comment

  • i don’t think it was an accident.

  • Wow the first photo is very nightmare on elm street. Feel bad for the couple who lived there.

  • I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a destructive fire. I’m glad you, kitty and home are safe.

  • Unbelievably sad. Like what you see in the aftermath of a tornado.

  • Wow. There’s almost nothing left; it’s almost completely toppled and crumbled.

  • Boston had “Make Way for Ducklings.” In DC its “Make Way for Condos.”

    • Pretty sure if you lived in one of those condos and there was damage, you might be a little upset. So, off your high horse and go post on WaPo.

  • While I feel bad for Dorothy Brizill and her husband Gary Imhoff, especially since it seems that they lost everything that was in the house, their house was a disaster and constantly running afoul of the city code. It was written about more than once by The City Paper throughout the years. Sadly I suspect some of those code issues may have been the result of the fire.

  • PoP, i’m curious why the original post on the fire [with dozens of comments] was removed. Server problem or did someone object to the post/comments?

    • Prince Of Petworth

      Yeah very sorry about that. My deadline for pre-loading posts was 3pm on Friday. The fire took place after 3pm but it was obviously so important that I wanted to post as soon as possible. When the server migration took place it did not carry this post over because I loaded it after 3pm.

  • I’ve known this house since I first moved to Columbia Heights in 1999, and its condition has always been baffling to me. My first thought, and perhaps I shall get flamed for it, when I read the initial post was about how the owners of the house could possibly maintain home insurance on the property? Either there was no insurance, or it was astronomical, or they somehow got around safety and habitability inspections for underwriting. As a homeowner who was required to repair a small irregularity in the concrete steps leading up to my front door in order to get insurance, I find it very difficult to imagine any company insuring that old house.

    Anyone else have any insurance underwriting stories?

  • I live in an apartment’d townhouse directly behind this building and was outside on the fire escape when the fire started and the smoke started creeping into the alley between the buildings..

    As soon as it became apparent that it wasn’t a bbq or a planned fire, a neighbor was running toward the house and yelling to someone who was apparently still inside. I yelled to her asking what was going on because the trees and smoke cut out my view to assess the situation. She called back to call 9-1-1 immediately and that it seemed like someone was inside and screaming. From the fire escape I called 9-1-1 and the dispatcher informed me local firefighters were already in route. Firefighters reached behind the building within five minutes, but the old building still crumbled soon after they started to hose the fire.

    I’m happy to hear that no one was hurt in the blaze, but I read somewhere that the building was uninhabited, which is definitely not true. Although the building was condemned and clearly not fit for anyone to live in, lights inside lit at night along with tapestry were evidence of squatters. That being said, I suspect someone squatting in the building encountered an accident that resulted in the fire. Truth to be told, my roommates and I often commented that the building was not long for this world and would fall soon if nothing was done to restore it.

    Regardless whether the fire was an accident or not and that no one was injured, I want to applaud the good samaritan who realized the fire and sprang into action to help our community.

    • Squatters. That is about right. I’m glad Dorothy and Gary are alright, in part so that I can say, “Shame on them.” Shame, shame, shame. I cannot imagine any revelations regarding this incident that might get me to thinking of them as victims.

  • I am so glad that I don’t live in Columbia Heights, where neighbors apparently don’t know the first thing about how to be “neighborly” — either before or after this fire. Shame on you folks!

    • I think I probably speak for the majority of Columbia Heights residents when I say we’re glad you don’t live here either. Now go take your passive-aggressive internet scolding somewhere else.

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