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Dozens of senior citizens displaced following large apartment building fire in DC

(Frank Becker/ABC7)

Thick black smoke could be seen from miles away at the Arthur Capper Senior Public Housing building on Wednesday as dozens of emergency responders rushed in to rescue senior citizens in the four-story building.

Firefighters started responding around 3:20 p.m., according to Mayor Bowser.

At least four people were transported to the hospital.

Several residents say they did not hear the smoke alarms.

Dana Thomas says her 91-year-old grandmother was unaware there was a fire until she called her to let her know.

“It’s really scary. it really a loud alarm and it goes off for nothing and it did not go off now,” said Thomas.

Bowser says that part of the investigation is ongoing.

“Once the fire is put down and it is safe for the fire marshals to enter,” said Bowser.

Some are also wondering about the sprinkler system.

“My understanding is that the fire started on the roofhowever like I (said) it’s still under investigation,” said DC Fire Chief Milton Douglas.

Displaced residents were transferred from the temporary shelter at the Capper community center to the Greenleaf recreation center, due to the heavy smoke that lingered for several hours.

Displaced residents or their loved ones can call (202)-737-4404, if they need assistance.


Councilman Charles Allen says there were 162 affordable units within the building, which is privately owned.


This story is developing and will be updated.

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