Fire destroys home of D.C. activists Brizill, Imhoff

Photo: B.J. Forte/ABC7

A fire has destroyed the home owned by D.C. activists Dorothy Brizill and her husband Gary Imhoff.

Just after 6 p.m. the fire broke out near 13th and Girard Streets NW. Flames cut through the three-story home.

When firefighters arrived, the second and third floors were heavily engulfed. Fortunately no one was inside.

"We called 911 and then in about two minutes flames were coming out the windows," says Paul Ainsworth.

Before long, parts of the building started to collapse. Smoke was said to be seen from as far as Alexandria.

By the time they put it out, a firefighter had sustained minor injuries.

Eventually Brizill arrived on the scene. Mayor Vincent Gray and the fire chief showed up to comfort her.

"We're gonna take care and make sure their immediate short term needs are met and then we're gonna take care and help them get settled," Gray says.

But Brizill quickly had a panic attack and had to be taken to the hospital.

Her neighbors are just happy everyone's okay, and that it didn't spread to other homes.

"It was pretty crazy," Ainsworth says. "I ran up and banged on the front window to see if Ms. Brizill was home and her car wasn't here, so we figured she was out for the afternoon."