After Fire, Marines Reunite With DC Seniors They Saved

A group of U.S. Marines who ran to help when a fire engulfed a senior apartment building in Southeast D.C. reunited Thursday with the residents they helped save.

About 100 Marines rushed to the Arthur Capper Senior Apartments on 5th Street SE on Sept. 19 when they spotted plumes of smoke coming from the building. They carried seniors out of their apartments — some of them even hauling residents over their shoulders.

"These guys did a fantastic job, and I just have to thank them for saving so many who could not help themselves," said Delphine Bell, a senior displaced by the fire.

But the Marines said they were just doing their job.

"It feels pretty good. We're definitely overwhelmed and humbled by the response we’ve gotten, there were a lot of heroes out there that day," Cpt. Ryan Trunk said.

Trinette Chase, another resident of the building, said she stood outside and watched the building burn.

"We cried. We cried because we couldn’t go back in and there’s things you can't replace," Chase said.

The 160 residents who lost their homes are just beginning to put their lives back together while they wait for city officials to find them a permanent place to live.

"It’s a roller coaster. Some days are good, some bad because we don’t know where we're going to be living. We loved our neighborhood and want to go back but we can't go back," Chase said.

Fire officials are still investigating the cause of the blaze and why the fire alarms did not go off.

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