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Big Fire on 900 Block of Decatur St, NW

by Prince Of Petworth July 1, 2011 at 5:29 pm 30 Comments

Lots of folks writing in about a terrible fire on the 900 block of Decatur St, NW:

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One writes:

“2 alarm house fire, 900 decatur. Rescue involved, up to three units in middle of block.”

More info as it becomes available.

Update: Another reader writes, “At least 4 houses were effected.”

@dcfireems tweets:

“Update – Decatur St – bulk of fire knocked – no inj – 100+ FFs on scene – 4 houses damaged”

  • Paris Hilton

    That’s Hot.

  • Anonymous

    We live over on Crittenden. My son watched the firefighters. The fire was huge and the smoke from it filled our house two blocks away. Fortunately, no one was hurt in the fire.

  • Djdc

    I’m on Crittenden too. I missed the flames but the smoke was significant. It’s really heartbreaking to see the firefighters breaking all the windows because you know it’s got to be bad. At least four houses. I’m glad there are no injuries, it seems.

  • WDC

    Fireworks to blame?

    • Anonymous

      looking for a reason to hate them?

      • Anon

        OK, it’s not the same as “those dang kids playing in the middle of the street” or “it’s loud and scares my dog.” This is a legitimate problem that nobody seems to give enough of a damn about.

        According to the 2009 National Fire Protection Association statistics 18,000 fires from fireworks resulted in $38 million property damage. On top of all that, 8,800 morons clogged emergency rooms with injuries from fireworks.

        DC is way too densely populated to shoot off fireworks in the middle of neighborhoods. They ought to be illegal to own, sell, or operate without a license, and those laws should actually be enforced. It’s the weekend before the 4th of July. It’s not unreasonable to ask the question whether a two alarm fire that affected four houses had something to do with fireworks. Certainly if your home burned down while your neighbors were drunkenly playing with explosives, you’d be curious if they might have had something to do with the fact you’re now homeless.

        I can’t speak for WDC, but I don’t need a reason to hate something so ridiculously stupid, unnecessary, and dangerous to people and their homes. I hope you don’t hurt yourself this weekend, or cause any damage to your home, car, or neighborhood. Even more than that, I hope you stay they hell away from my roof and deck with that shit.

        • dreas

          I have to say, MPD really seems to be on an anti-fireworks push this year–at least online. I’ve gotten multiple emails via the 3D listserve with a two-page flyer talking about how dangerous fireworks can be in this type of dense housing situation. This seems to be in stark contrast to previous years when it didn’t seem like MPD or anyone else in DC government gave a crap. Also, I have heard far fewer than in past years. In 2007, I remember them starting right after Memorial Day and going consistently through mid July. So I think maybe it’s getting better.

          That said, we’re actually staying in a hotel tonight so we can all get some sleep and will just hope that one of our neighbors will call 911 if they see flames coming from our house…

      • WDC

        I love fireworks. LOVE them. I look forward to the 4th every year. I also love municipal fire departments that fundraise to buy the awesome ones, train their firefighters to handle them safely, and give us a fantastic show.

  • anon

    How awful. :(

    I always thought that these older houses — many of which were built in an era before fire engines as we know them today — had brick walls separating them, and that it would thus be difficult for fire to get from one house to another. Is there any truth to this? Or is it the kind of thing where if the fire is bad enough, it can spread along the roof and then down?

    • ET

      I think those walls only help so much. From what the NBC affiliate was saying it started in the basement and spread via the rear editions which aren’t necessarily brick.

      The video of the fire showed a beast of a fire.

  • Anomynous

    All of these houses have bump outs. These are extensions to the houses, or rear porches converted to four season rooms. They are made of wood. And are connected to each other.

  • Marvin

    This is what happens when you build your house up against your neighbor’s house. Sensible cities have side yards for a reason.

    • WDC

      I’ve seen my fair share of cities, and I can’t think of one where attached buildings aren’t the norm in high-density areas. What “sensible” cities do I need to visit to see these downtown houses with yards?

      • Anonymous

        feeding trolls is against the law.

      • Me

        He’s talking about Mayberry RFD

  • Stavros

    @Marvin – say what?

  • Kyle

    From 7th and Farragut we saw the flames. Started about 2:15pm. Looked really really bad. Saw the smoke, dark black clouds going way up into the air. Very glad to hear everyone is okay.

    To the guy talking about the fireworks, this was at 2:15pm on a Friday, so I doubt it was drunken fireworks antics that set this off, but then again, I guess you never know.

    • Anon

      Maybe kids instead of drunks. I saw two young kids squeeze through a fence and start running away from an apartment complex about 2 seconds after a string of fireworks started going off by the front door. It was about 4:30 in the afternoon.

  • Anomynous

    I don’t think it matters who is setting off fireworks, they’re not a good idea in a dense neighborhood. It makes it hard to tell the difference between gunshots and they scare the crap out of my dog.
    That being said, Petworth seems to have a pretty strong tradition of small time firework display with no damage. Election night was awesome

  • Anonymous

    If this was caused. By some kids setting off fireworks, I hope they are caught and set on fire.

    • Anonymous

      i think that. you’re sense of, punishment, is a bit. disproportionate.

  • Onanon

    Electrical service is in the basement. Provided everyone was caught up on their mortgage payments, I bet that was the cause.

  • 14th St Heights

    I thought it was pretty odd that six houses burn, and there was not a word about it in the Post. Hello, local newspaper? Maybe I missed it?

  • Unicorn Girl

    No,it was not fireworks nor electrical wiring nor was it “being late on the mortgage” that caused the fire!!! Loosing your home can make you do some crazy stuff!!!
    Let’s also talk about the FACT that the 1st working hydrants were 2-4 blocks AWAY!!!!

  • anon

    Dear PoP,

    I saw somewhere that the Fire Dept is taking donations for the 4 families disploaced by this fire. Do you have any details on this???

  • Prince Of Petworth
  • Anonymous

    If you are going to donate, whatever you do, please do not give any cash to keith jarrell! the intended recipients will never see it.

    • Keith Jarrell

      Your comments are slanderous, and if you continue to suggest this I will have the U. S. Attorney cease the records of this submission and I will file a law suit against you.
      There is nothing in my history as a community activist to suggest that I have taken one cent from one any.
      I hope you grow up, soon or later you are going to make a mistake in your mistreatment and misrepresentation of me.

  • Anonymous

    Let us unmask the veil of your self-created, self-serving titles. “Is there nothing in your history as a human being to suggest that you have taken one cent from one any [sic]?” Discuss…

  • Quacks Like A Duck

    The US Attorney’s Office investigates criminal acts. The District of Columbia law does not recognize criminal defamation. The US Attorney’s Office can do nothing about allegations of defamation.


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