House Fire at 3rd and Varnum St, NW


A reader sends the photo above around 6:15am:

“Happening right now at the house on the northwest corner of 3rd and Varnum. I woke up to screams and within minutes had this view from my porch. There’s 4-5 fire trucks, several ambulances and a “mobile air unit.” Smoke is pouring out of the house and I could hear the firemen smashing windows.

Feeling incredibly helpless…. Please send good thoughts to our corner of Petworth.”

@IAFF36 tweets:

“House Fire – 3rd St & Varnum St NW – 2-story rowhouse, fire showing all floors, extending to exposures #DCFD”

“Update – 3rd St & Varnum St NW – FFs extinguishing fire in basement, 1st & 2nd fl, making good progress, searches in progress #DCFD”

“Update – 3rd St & Varnum St NW – all fire knocked down, checking for extension; residents self-evacuated, EMS evaluating #DCFD”

8 Comment

  • So sad to learn this — and hope that everyone, including the firefighters — is all right. I grew up in one of the houses on this corner, so it was really a shock to see this as a headline. I’d appreciate any updates that people might have, and hope that “residents self-evacuated” means that everyone who was in the house is okay.

    • Hey Blithe. I currently live in the house next door, and am glad to be able to say that all of my neighbors are safe, with the sad exception of their pet dog. They are truly a wonderful family who, while grateful to be safe and well, have lost virtually everything in their home. I hope the community will keep them in their thoughts. I am not sure what they need at this point, but perhaps the neighborhood can get together and help them out. They are certainly deserving.

      • Louis, thank you very much for taking the time to post an update. I particularly appreciate this since, as a next door neighbor, your own experience must have been extremely stressful as well. I’m glad to know that all of the people in the house are safe — despite their many significant losses. I’m sure that I’m not the only one whose thoughts and hearts go out to your neighbors, and all of those affected by the fire.

      • Hi Louis….I’m the one who sent this message in, I live in the 4200 block of 3rd. I don’t know the family but would be more than willing to help out however I can. Perhaps we could try to rally neighbors to fundraise and help them get back on their feet? Or collect donations of basics they might need while rebuilding? I wasn’t sure how to get in touch with the family since I presume they aren’t staying in their home right now. Any suggestions?

        • Hey Patti. That’s exactly what I was thinking. I’m currently out of town for the holiday, but will try to see if I can contact them when I get back mid-week. I think the best thing to do would probably be to find out what the family needs first to make a list of things for neighbors to contribute. They have some family on the block I will try to reach out to later this week. I can pass you along my email if you would like. Not sure the best way to do that…

          • Perfect. Yeah I’m not sure how to exchange emails on here without making them public but if you let me know on here when you’re back i can swing by your place and leave you mine!

  • Hey Patti,

    Unfortunately due to the fire damage my roommates and I will have to relocate for the next few weeks. I’m planning on coming back to the neighborhood either Thursday or Friday to find out what the family might need and try to organize something. Based on your picture, I think I have a good idea of what house you’re at.

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