Washington, DC

“We are homeless.


the former residents of 3145 mt pleasant st. washington, dc

(it burnt down)”

WTOP reports on the 5 Alarm fire. My thoughts and prayers are with the residents.

Updated: More info from resident: “i was living on the first floor, the fire started in the basement. i saw the fire started on some machinery, after i put a extinguisher on it, it kept re ignighting, by the time the fire engines showed up, the first basement was out of control.”

Comments (19)

  1. It looked so terrible, still smoking this morning when I walked past on my way to work. I feel so badly for all of the displaced residents of this building. If anyone has information of what we could do to help, maybe they could post it on here.

  2. I am working with people to put together a clothing and school supply drive for displaced kids. I believe Bancroft Elementary School will be the focal point for kid’s donations right now, but it’s going to take several hours before we know how many kids are affected.

  3. My thoughts are with all of the residents. The building was still on fire at 8:20am and the whole neighborhood smells like smoke. I’m hoping that there will be news of a benefit soon. Perhaps keep an eye on MtP mainstreet: http://www.mtpmainstreet.org/

  4. While its certainly not clear from the reports I’ve read that housing code violations contributed to or caused the fire, this building sounds like a prine example of why it’s so important that the DCRA enforces the housing code. DCRA, the agency responsible for enforcing the housing code, rarely sends violation reports to enforcement. This means that while landlords are cited, fines are never levied. Unfortaunatly, tenants throughout the nation’s capitol live in conditions that are barely habitable. Unless a tenant is sued in landlord-tenant court or starts a civil action, the courts have no authority to force repairs. Safe housing should be a basic right.

    Certainly there are responsible landlords in the District. The ones who violate the housing code, leaving mostly poor tenants living inbarely habitable conditions, should be forced to follow the law. I would encourage everyone to read the recent Washington Post article on this series.

  5. http://youtube.com/watch?v=LuTd-iFmp5M


    i was living on the first floor getting ready for bed, when my girlfriend noticed dense smoke seeping through the flootboards. dense smoke was billowing from the stairwell into the halls, after someone pulled the alarm, i followed the smoke and i saw the fire started on some machinery(water heater?) in the basement, after i emptied an extinguisher on it, it kept re ignighting, i went around the building as quickly as possible to find another extinguisher, but none were to be found, another was located on the second floor, i emptied the second extinguisher on the reignited fire with no success, by the time the fire engines showed up, the basement fire was out of control.

  6. i can most certainly attest as a resident that the condition of the basement was in complete disrepair. if not the whole building.

  7. Donations for kids are being collected by Mr. Belloso at Bancroft Elementary School at 18th and Newton. Immediate supplies requested include soap, toothpaste, toiletries, small toys for elementary school aged kids. The donation point is probably only open until 6pm, so if you can move on this, stop by Bancroft.

  8. Paul, that’s terrible. Best wishes on recovering what you can and securing a new apartment. Let your neighbors know if we can help!

  9. yea this is horrible. a friend of mine lived in the building, i feel bad for her and everyone else who lived there. i hope everything works out for the best.

  10. this. friggin. blows.

  11. wow. I looked at an apt there once but decided the building was too much of an issue. Glad I decided not to take it. Weren’t they supposedly renovating it for a while a year or so ago?

  12. This just feels like criminal, horrible arson. Thank G-d no one was killed. I can’t wait til they charge someone with this. I’ve been watching the news footage, showing an elderly lady being carried out on a stretcher.

  13. T of the JTL says

    That fire is awful – doing what we can in the JTL and Dog-sitting for a couple homeless dogs from that building.

  14. Nestor Sanchez

    I live two buildings from the one that burned and I had the chance of talking to some of the tenants on that building. It all sounds like a provoked fire but that is what the investigators are for. The residents I spoke to told me that the landowner has tried to evict them since 2002 on 4 occasions to no avail because some neighbors have organized a committee. Nevertheless, the ones who have left have left their apartments for the landowner to renovate while the whole building is in total despair. It is worth mentioning that the people they want to evict are all Latinos and the new tenants are all caucasian. If that is not gentrification gone mad I do not know what it is. Regardless of how the fire started I believe the issue at hand here is the displacement of Latino residents in this community and the reality today is that all these Latinos are homeless, broke,paperless and some, hopeless. Personally, I cannot compare how it was and how it is right now because I just moved to this city and country 4 months ago but I do not fell is ok to take this gentrification phenomenom to the extreme of setting a building on fire. Just my thoughts.

  15. I got an email a little while ago from Muriel Bowser’s office; glad to see the info got here already. Food and clothing is great, but cash always “fits.” Is Neighbors’ Consejo the right clearing house for monetary donations as well?

  16. Neighbors

  17. anon wrote: “While its certainly not clear from the reports I

  18. Mount Pleasant Mainstreet is accepting fire donations on their site and Pfeiffer’s is collecting donations in store this afternoon (I’m not sure if longer). Mt Pleasant Mainstreet will also be contributing proceeds from their scheduled wine tasting event next week. I also read that Don Jaime’s will be donating 20% of weekend brunch proceeds.

  19. From the Mt Pleasant DC Forum:

    Here are some ways we can help our neighbors:

    Emergency Cash Donations – Pfeiffer’s Hardware is a collection point
    Many people have asked how they can give cash assistance to victims of the fire. The Columbia Heights Shaw Family Support Collaborative is taking donations for a fund to pay for emergency shelter as well as other urgent necessities like medications people lost.

    You can make checks payable to the Columbia Heights Shaw Family Support Collaborative and drop them off at Pfeiffer’s Hardware at 3219 Mt. Pleasant Street.

    Housing and other volunteer needs – go to http://hearmountpleasant.org to send a form to the Collaborative specifying housing or other volunteer services you can offer.

    Currently workers from the government and community agencies are working to find housing for the hundreds of people displaced. If you have a room or a basement apartment you can offer, please go to http://hearmountpleasant.org and indicate the details. Hear Mount Pleasant has set up a database to collect and organize that information for the Collaborative as they coordinate relief efforts.

    Neighbors Consejo is the collection point for clothing donations from the community. They need help organizing and distributing the donations.
    Neighbor’s Consejo
    3118 16th Street, NW
    Contact: Evar Sandoval (202) 234-6855

    We’ll continue to keep you posted on ways you can help!

    Hugs and hardware,

    Todd & Adriana
    Pfeiffer’s Hardware


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