Sophia Barnes

Deaths of Man, Woman Found in DC Fire Ruled Homicide

The deaths of a man and a woman discovered inside a Southeast D.C. home that caught fire on Saturday have now been ruled a homicide, police say.

Firefighters found the remains of 60-year-old Joseph Burgess and 50-year-old Regina Bowman after they had extinguished the fire at a home in the 3300 block of Ely Place SE, police said.

On Sunday, police said an autopsy on the victims revealed that homicide was the manner of death for both of them. Police did not name a cause of death.

Burgess and Bowman were found on the first floor of the home.

Authorities said on Saturday that the fire started on the first floor and spread partially to the basement.

One firefighter was hurt after falling through the floor of the burning home. Medics evaluated the firefighter and he went right back into the house to continue searching for victims, D.C. Fire spokesperson Vito Maggiolo said.

Photos showed the home clouded in smoke. Firefighters were able to knock out the flames so police and fire officials could investigate the scene.

The Humane Rescue Alliance also removed a large dog from the back yard, D.C. Fire and EMS said.

Fire officials say a second small but suspicious fire erupted "directly around the corner" on D Street Southeast about the same time, Maggiolo said. He said the fire appears to be suspicious in nature.

No injuries were reported, but four people were displaced.

Officials have not said if or how the fires could be connected.

It's not clear at this time if there are any suspects.

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