Washington DC

Squirrelly Business: Rodent Partially to Blame for Fire at DC Apartment Building

Four residents are displaced

D.C. Fire and EMS

A squirrel played a part in sparking an apartment fire in D.C. on Wednesday afternoon, fire officials say.

Fire investigators say the trouble started when a resident at a three-story building at 1300 Congress Street SE found the squirrel making a hole in the ceiling.

He lit an incense stick and placed it in the hole in the hopes of scaring away the rodent.

But his plan quickly backfired.

The squirrel broke off the burning incense tip in the attic of the building, causing the roof to catch fire. Smoke filled the apartment.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze and stopped it from spreading throughout the building.

Four residents of the building are displaced and the Red Cross is helping them find shelter.

D.C. Fire and EMS said the apartment resident had turned off his smoke alarms and reminded residents to never disable their smoke detectors.

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