A D.C. woman has died early Tuesday morning in a fire at a home in Southeast. Two other residents escaped the burning structure without injuries, thanks to a working fire alarm.
D.C. Fire and EMS units were dispatched Tuesday, Feb. 11, around 5:18 a.m., to the report of a house fire in the 600 block of Darrington St., S.E. Arriving on the scene firefighters found smoke showing from the second floor of a two-story, semidetached occupied home, according to Vito Maggiolo, D.C. Fire and EMS public information officer. Firefighters were able to get the fire under control within 15 minutes.
At the time of the fire, three residents were in the home, an adult female and two adult males.
“The adult female was trapped in the room in which the fire originated,” Maggiolo said. “While we were able to get to her, we found in fact that she had succumbed to her injuries.”
One of the adult males who was asleep on the second floor reported he had been awoken by the smoke alarm, which enabled him to escape the fire unharmed. “If it wasn’t for the early warning provided by the smoke alarm, he could have become a fatality himself,” Maggiolo said.
The fire currently remains under investigation, but there was no indication of anything suspicious, according to Maggiolo. No other injuries were reported.
Maggiolo added a “clutter condition” existed in the house. “When we have a house that has a lot of clutter in it, it creates challenges,” he said. “First of all, the additional materials in the hall provide fuel for the fire. The clutter makes it harder for somebody to escape the fire, as well. And third, it makes our efforts to search and find the victim more complex.”