Woman Dead in N.W. Fire

People had been using the boarded-up rowhouse as a shelter

By Carissa DiMargo
|  Tuesday, Dec 22, 2009  |  Updated 2:56 PM EDT
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Woman Dead in N.W. Fire

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It was the District's 19th fire fatality this year.

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A woman has died in a fire at a house thought to be vacant.

The D.C. Fire Department responded to the 900 block of Kennedy Street N.W. for a report of fire around 9 p.m. last night. Responders found heavy smoke in a boarded-up rowhouse and called for more units. On a primary search, firefighters found a burn victim in the basement of the building.

The rowhouse was supposed to be vacant, but was being occupied by people using it as a shelter.

The victim, an adult female in her mid 30s, was transported in critical condition with rescuers administering CPR. The victim was not burned. It's the District's 19th fire fatality this year.

The fire was determined to be accidental, likely caused by improperly discarded smoking material. Damage is estimated to be around $10,000. There was also an extension to a vacant building at 929 Kennedy St. N.W. Authorities say this was also the scene of a fire less than a year ago.

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