Fire at 1603 U Street, NW, Building Home to Caramel Boutique

Photo by @therealmarta

Avoid U Street between 16th and 17th RT @IAFF36: Working fire 1603 U St NW 3 story apartment building.

@therealmarta tweets us:

“Scene now @ fire @ 16th @ U St. NW – top floor of small apt bldg. Lots of smoke. People nearby seem safe”

@MuddyMaeSuggins tweets us:

“it’s definitely more than 3 stories, retail in basement. Caramel boutique in basement”

@wkt1969 tweets us:

“Seems to be under control but street still closed”

Updates as more info as it becomes available.

Update from a resident:

“This is my building! I was walking out on my way to work at 9:45 am (yes, late) and saw a little smoke out from the top floor window. I walked next door to the fire department and told them and they sprang into action. Within minutes there was a plume of smoke coming out. They did extinguish it but I’m not allowed back in the building yet.”

More photos after the jump.

Photo by @melmason

Photo by @wkt1969

16 Comment

  • Not to make light, but if you’re going to have a fire, it’s convenient to be located right next door to the fire station. Hopefully 9 was in the house and not out on a call.

  • Yea, I live in this building and I saw a little bit of smoke come out from the 3rd floor unit on my way to work. So I walked next door and talked to the firefighter and they sprang into action. He even said “good job” to me.

    No one was in the unit and they’re not letting anyone back in right now. I’m just hoping the water damage isn’t too bad because they blasted that unit with water (thankfully so). The smoke and flames got pretty intense.

  • Zenalex,

    Do you know if the sprinklers came on throughout the building?

    • The building does not have sprinklers. The fire alarm did go off however but it wasn’t very loud and it’s hard to distinguish when you live next door to a fire department.

      The building is super old and one of the few remaining buildings in this area that hasn’t been renovated. The fire did not spread beyond that one apartment, but I’m fairly sure smoke damage and water damage did.

      And yes, if we didn’t live next door to a fire station I’m sure the damage would’ve been much worse.

  • This building is a dump. I am shocked nothing has happened before now. Maybe this will force the owner to do something to upgrade the building.

    • Unlikely, it’s owned by Barac Company and they’re notorious for basically being a slum management company. Rent’s dirt cheap though!

      But I have no idea how the fire started so I’m not trying to point fingers at the resident or Barac themselves.

  • Unfortunately one of the fire engines that should have been on that fire was closed down today due to no staffing. I’m sure you have heard all the news stories concerning staffing levels in the fire dept and vacancies left unfilled. This is dangerous and here is a prime example of how it can affect you. Call your council member and tell them to staff the fire dept fully. You don’t want to suffer do to the current mismanagement.

  • A famous architect previously had his offices in that building….. last name Hunt

  • Love finding out these things that happen near my place on POPville! Keep up the good work, because I never would have known. I hope everyone is okay and there isn’t too much damage.

Comments are closed.