Fire Hydrant Closest to Fatal DC Row House Fire Was Broken - NBC4 Washington

Fire Hydrant Closest to Fatal DC Row House Fire Was Broken

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Closest Hydrant to Deadly DC Fire Was Out of Service

    The D.C. fire department said the faulty fire hydrant didn't affect their ability to stop the blaze, but DC Water admitted they didn't know the hydrant was broken until a fire in Northwest D.C. claimed the lives of two, including a 9-year-old boy. News4's Mark Segraves reports. (Published Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019)

    What to Know

    • The Aug. 18 fire sent smoke pouring out of the row house on Kennedy Street NW. A man died of his injuries

    • Nine-year-old Yafet Solomon was rushed to a hospital with injuries and later died

    The fire hydrant closest to the D.C. fire that killed a child and a man earlier this month was broken, and neighbors tried putting out the fire with a garden hose, News4 has learned.

    DC Water, which maintains hydrants, was not aware the hydrant was broken until after the fire, a representative said Thursday. 

    The D.C. fire department said the broken hydrant did not affect their ability to put out the fire at 708 Kennedy St. NW on Aug. 18. But they said they did not realize the hydrant was out of service until they hooked up to it and no water came out.

    Meanwhile, two neighbors used a garden hose to try to extinguish the blaze.

    DC Agencies Alerted to Conditions in Row House Before Fire

    [DC] DC Agencies Alerted to Conditions in Illegal Rental House Before Fatal Fire

    Four D.C. employees are on leave pending an investigation into the fatal fire at an illegal rental house in Northwest. News4's Mark Segraves reports multiple government agencies were alerted to the potentially deadly conditions inside before the fire.

    (Published Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019)

    Cellphone video shows dark smoke streaming out of the burning house while people were still trapped inside.

    Harlan Jones and Dwight Smith grabbed a garden hose before firefighters arrived.

    "When I came out, I saw a wall of smoke," Jones said.

    D.C.'s 911 call center told News4 there was a four-minute delay in dispatching fire trucks when the first call about the fire came in from a passing police officer. The reason for that delay was not immediately clear.

    When firefighters arrived, they found that the Kennedy Street hydrant was broken. Another truck had to hook up to a hydrant a block away and run a water line to the fire. Firefighters said they had 500 gallons of water in their truck, but that's only about four minutes worth of water.

    A DC Water representative said the hydrant has since been repaired.

    DC Agencies Knew of Illegal Rental Months Before Deadly Fire

    [DC] DC Agencies Knew of Illegal Rental Months Before Deadly Fire

    Before the house fire that killed a 9-year-old boy and a man earlier this month, at least three D.C. agencies knew of dangerous conditions inside the row house that was illegally divided into tiny apartments.

    (Published Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019)

    According to their website, there were 42 hydrants out of service across D.C. as of July, out of 9,802 total hydrants. Go here to check the status of your hydrant.

    The fire killed 9-year-old Yafet Solomon and a man who police have not named, pending notification of his family. 

    News4 reported earlier this week that at least three city agencies knew of hazardous conditions in the row house where they lived, which was home to more than a dozen Ethiopian immigrants. 

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