‘Devastating': Fire Destroys District Yacht Club Clubhouse

The clubhouse of the historic District Yacht Club in Southeast D.C. was destroyed by an overnight fire early Monday. 

Yacht Club members said they had hosted a Christmas party for children in the community at the clubhouse on Sunday morning. Less the 24 hours later, flames had destroyed it. 

Member Yurell Washington called the fire devastating. 

"This is where we come and watch our football games. We do everything here, and now it's all gone," he said. 

D.C. firefighters responded to the blaze on the 1400 block of Water Street SE about 3:15 a.m., D.C. Fire and EMS spokesman Vito Maggiolo said. 

Despite intense flames and flying embers, crews were able to keep the blaze from spreading to the boats nearby, Maggiolo said. 

Crews initially faced water supply challenges, since the building is in an isolated area, but Maggiolo said crews were able to work around it. They used a fireboat to help knock down the flames.

There were no reports of injuries or significant damage to boats. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The District Yacht Club was established on the west bank of the Anacostia River at 11th Street SE in 1950, according to the group's website. The club with 45 slips was designed to accommodate "the working middle class who possess the passion for boating but often could not comfortably afford the usual high membership fees offered by other yacht clubs or marinas," the site says.

A member said the group had insurance and will aim to rebuild. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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