Three firefighters and two civilians were injured early Sunday when a fire broke out in an apartment housing many elderly or mobility-limited people.
All the injuries are considered non-life threatening.
D.C. Fire and EMS received a call about 5 a.m. and responded to 3400 Banneker Drive NE. Firefighters could see flames in the second story of the five-level building, officials said.
A retired D.C. firefighter who lived on the second floor said his years of training kept him calm.
"But my concern was my neighbors. Trying to find out what was going on with them because we have a lot of people in here in wheelchairs or disabled," he said.
Firefighters climbed into the smoke-filled building to rescue residents in distress, including many people who are unable to walk, officials said.
Eighty firefighters responded and were able to knock out the fire. The cause is currently listed as undetermined, DC Fire and EMS said.
Residents on 25 apartments on the second floor and more apartments on the third floor have been displaced. The D.C. Housing Authority, the Red Cross and others are there to provide assistance.