At least three trapped D.C. firefighters are now safe, about 20 minutes after a mayday alert was sounded.
They were trapped in a basement during a two-alarm fire at 730 Congress St. S.E., a garden-style apartment building. The initial report was for a fire in the basement that was spreading to the walls.
Shortly before it was announced they had escaped, the fire was flaring up, and the rest of the team's oxygen tanks had run out of air.
One firefighter got out before the other two, according to a tweet from IAFF Local 36, a firefighters union.
Units had been ordered to evacuate the building at about 8:30 a.m.; a second alarm (call for another station's response) was sounded at about 8:35 a.m.
Around 9:35 a.m., the firefighters' union tweeted, "160 firefighters and three near misses later, [the] fire is out.... Again -- thanks for prayers!"