A man and a woman died Thursday after a fire broke out in a Northwest Washington, D.C., rowhome without smoke detectors, authorities say.
The blaze erupted at the two-story house on Eighth Street near Upshur Street NW in the Petworth neighborhood, D.C. Fire and EMS said. Both victims were senior citizens.
Firefighters were called about 2:50 a.m. and found “heavy fire,” authorities said.
One victim was found on the first floor; the other was found on the second floor.
Firefighters rushed the victims to a hospital, but they died of their injuries. One firefighter also suffered a minor injury, authorities said.
Two other people were displaced.
The fire was so intense the back porch partially collapsed, authorities said. The fire extended slightly to two neighboring homes, but firefighters were able to beat back the flames.
The cause remains under investigation.
DC Fire and EMS said the blaze was “tragic" and if the home had smoke detectors, the loss of life may have been avoided.
Firefighters were set to return to the block to educate people in the neighborhood about fire safety.
D.C. Council Member Janeese George, who represents the area, asked residents to check on their neighbors' health and safety. She said people seemed to be doing so at the start of the pandemic but that attention has tapered off.
“This is a tough way to start this year,” she said.
Stay with NBC Washington for more on this developing story