Family Escapes Columbia Heights Blaze After Hearing Screams of “Fire!” Outside

A powerful fire ripped through a D.C. rowhouse in Columbia Heights early Monday, with heat so intense that it also ignited a house across the alley.

D.C. Fire & EMS crews were called to a two-alarm fire in the 3000 block of 11th Street NW about 1:30 a.m. Heavy fire on the home's rear porches extended inside and into attics, officials said.

A family of five, including three children, were able to escape. Screams coming from outside alerted the father of the family, Isaiah Jones, giving them time to escape.

Jones said he heard screams from outside, letting him know about the blaze. Fire officials earlier said smoke detectors going off alerted the residents. Jones said it was the screams of "Fire, fire!" that alerted him, although the smoke detectors also went off.

The blaze is now under control.

Six people from the home on 11th Street are receiving assistance from the Red Cross, fire officials said.

"For the most part, as long as everybody got out alive, that's the main [thing] that counts," Jones said. 

The home across the alley, located on Columbia Road NW, had its roofline and cornice ignited by radiant heat, fire officials said.

Two people from that home were also displaced but are making alternate living arrangements, authorities said.

The cause of the fire is currently undetermined.

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