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Massive Fire on St. Elizabeths Campus Saturday afternoon destroys historic “large wooden barn”


photo by DC Fire and EMS 4:14pm Saturday: “Images from 2nd Alarm 2700 block King Ave SE. An exterior attack continues using heavy duty water streams from aerial ladders & other master stream devices. Collapse appears imminent”

The Washington Post reported: “The fire blazed on the campus of St. Elizabeths Hospital in Southeast Washington, the first federally operated psychiatric hospital in the United States, and a place where innovative techniques were introduced in psychiatric treatment.

The building that burned, according to the D.C. fire department, was a large wooden barn.”


photo by Kylene 4:02pm Saturday “Huge plums of smoke from the 2700 MLK SE fire”

From DC Fire and EMS:

“Update 2 Alarm Fire 2700 block King Ave SE. Command has declared fire under control. Still wetting down hotspots. Units will remain on scene for a considerable amount of time. No injuries reported. #DCsBravest.”

“UPDATE from 2-alarm fire located in 2700 block of Martin Luther King Ave SE. Briefing from Fire and EMS Chief John Donnelly. Fire is contained but #DCsBravest expected to remain on scene through the evening. Again, no injuries reported.”


photo by David Hurlburt

From the DC Preservation League:

“Constructed during the 1880s, the Dry Barn is an example of the importance farming had in the treatment of patients at Saint Elizabeths.”

More info here.

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