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Electrical failure and Christmas tree caused mansion fire that took 6 lives

(Glenn A. Miller / AP)

The tree, which had been cut two months earlier, was still up when an inferno gutted the Maryland home.

    Latest local news

    The ‘Ghostbusters’ reboot got its cast by watching ‘Saturday Night Live’

    The ‘Ghostbusters’ reboot got its cast by watching ‘Saturday Night Live’

    The actresses have one thing in common: They’ve appeared on “Saturday Night Live” in the past year. Here’s a guide to them and why they may, or may not, make for good busters of ghosts.

    It pays to be close to Mayor Bowser

    It pays to be close to Mayor Bowser

    Top mayoral aides continue to pull down big salaries in D.C.

    Our Brussels sprouts crawl leads you to some of D.C.’s finest

    Our Brussels sprouts crawl leads you to some of D.C.’s finest

    D.C. Head out on our Brussels sprout crawl — including stops at Sushiko, Right Proper Brewing Company, and Boundary Stone — to try some of our favorites.

    Five of six Metro lines have delays

    Several train problems cause delays for Metro’s riders. Only line with no reported problems (at the moment) is Red Line.

    ‘Hot to Cold’ at the National Building Museum shows how climate inspires architecture firm BIG

    ‘Hot to Cold’ at the National Building Museum shows how climate inspires architecture firm BIG

    A power plant you can ski down, an apartment building you can bike through and an exhibit space that folds up into a band shell — these are all inventions of the Bjarke Ingels Group (aka BIG).

    Smithsonian’s ‘Hear My Voice’ reveals sounds thought lost to time — like the voice of Alexander Graham Bell

    Smithsonian’s ‘Hear My Voice’ reveals sounds thought lost to time — like the voice of Alexander Graham Bell

    The inventor’s voice was one of many discoveries made by a team of curators and particle physicists when they played an 1885 cardboard and wax disc in 2012.

    Which D.C. Brussels sprouts are right for you?

    Which D.C. Brussels sprouts are right for you?

    Don’t have time to try our entire Tour de Brussels sprouts? Tell us your favorite kind of food, and we’ll send you straight to the D.C. restaurant with the perfect dish for you.

    ‘Awkward Sex … and the City’s’ sextet of storytellers share tips for publicly airing your dirty laundry

    ‘Awkward Sex … and the City’s’ sextet of storytellers share tips for publicly airing your dirty laundry

    Talking about your sex life can be hard. Talking about it in front of an audience is harder.

    Road reopens in Dupont Circle after water main break in area

    Water main break at R Street NW caused traffic detours

    ‘The Loft’ and 5 other movies that feature questionable real estate choices

    ‘The Loft’ and 5 other movies that feature questionable real estate choices

    In “The Loft,” out Friday, a group of men share an apartment so they can have a space to bang girls and argue about whose turn it is to take out the trash.

    Natalie Prass unveils her Matthew E. White-produced debut album at DC9

    Natalie Prass unveils her Matthew E. White-produced debut album at DC9

    Natalie Prass’ self-titled debut album sounds timeless, which is a good thing, considering she’s been waiting since 2012 to release it.

    After vulgar tweets, Arlington schools officials urge students to keep it clean online

    After a series of vulgar tweets targeting Arlington schools, officials urge students to keep it civil on Twitter.

    Songs to do ‘Nice Work’ to

    Songs to do ‘Nice Work’ to

    “Nice Work If You Can Get It” is based around the songs of George and Ira Gershwin, most of which you’ve heard before — and here’s where.

    Rain or sleet may hit before rush hour tonight, then a big chill tomorrow

    Rain or sleet may hit before rush hour tonight, then a big chill tomorrow

    The next big chance of snow is Sunday, but it’s too early for a clear forecast.

    U.S. funding per pupil falls for second straight year

    U.S. funding per pupil falls for second straight year

    Downturn in 2011 and 2012 came amid recession-battered state budgets, waning stimulus funds.

    Parrish first Republican to enter race for Virginia Senate

    Three Democrats have declared their candidacies, and the election result could help tip the balance of power.

    Finally healthy, Rams are on a roll

    Finally healthy, Rams are on a roll

    WRESTLING | Robinson beats DeMatha, South County and Centreville in a quad meet Wednesday in Fairfax.

    Prince William County crime report

    A listing of incidents reported by police in Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park.

    Clear and cold tonight, a little wintry mix possible Thursday

    Clear and cold tonight, a little wintry mix possible Thursday

    One of the chillier nights of the winter is ahead. Some late day rain and snow showers may be around tomorrow.

    Going Out Guide

    Going Out Guide

    Going Out Guide, Northern Virginia

    School officials seek building funds from skeptical Hogan

    Md. governor suggests more attention should be paid to facilities upkeep to avoid big expenses later.

    Oakland Mills rallies to beat Centennial

    Oakland Mills rallies to beat Centennial

    BOYS’ BASKETBALL | The Scorpions overcome a 15-point deficit to take a 66-61 overtime win at the No. 20 Eagles.

    McKinley girls, Wilson boys win titles

    McKinley girls, Wilson boys win titles

    INDOOR TRACK | Ineka Armstead scores 40 points to lead the Trainers to a city championship. Sean Robinson’s 18 points pace Wilson.

    Va. bill would put a pause on Dominion audits

    Va. bill would put a pause on Dominion audits

    The Senate measure would free the utility from regular financial scrutiny by the panel that oversees its rates.

    Electrical failure and Christmas tree caused mansion fire that took 6 lives

    Electrical failure and Christmas tree caused mansion fire that took 6 lives

    The tree, which had been cut two months earlier, was still up when an inferno gutted the Maryland home.

    Montgomery schools chief may face uphill battle on board

    Montgomery schools chief may face uphill battle on board

    Joshua P. Starr’s future with system is uncertain; school board meets but takes no action on contract renewal.

    John T. Myers, House Republican from Indiana, dies at 87

    <b></b>John T. Myers, House Republican from Indiana, dies at 87

    Mr. Myers represented a swath of western Indiana in the U.S. House of Representatives for 30 years.

    Diana Engel, co-founder of Levine music school, dies at 77

    Diana Engel, co-founder of Levine music school, dies at 77

    An amateur pianist, Ms. Engel also was a community activist and a lawyer specializing in family law.

    Washington-area obituaries of note

    Washington-area obituaries of note

    Obituaries of residents from the District, Maryland and Northern Virginia.

    Column

    The McDonnells could be cleared on appeal because of a fuzzy federal law

    The McDonnells could be cleared on appeal because of a fuzzy federal law

    Brace yourself: Despite convictions for corruption, the ex-governor and his wife could get off.

     

    Fairfax SWAT team raids high stakes Great Falls poker game, seizes cash, terrifies players

    Police continue to aggressively enforce anti-gambling laws, though charges against the players are set to be dismissed.

    It pays to be close to Mayor Bowser

    Top mayoral aides continue to pull down big salaries in D.C.

    Five of six Metro lines have delays

    Several train problems cause delays for Metro’s riders. Only line with no reported problems (at the moment) is Red Line.

    Road reopens in Dupont Circle after water main break in area

    Water main break at R Street NW caused traffic detours

    Weekend Metro rider has hard time spotting progress

    Gains from transit rebuilding program are not easy to spot when trains are few and far between.

    Super Bowl rules: guacamole yes, drones no

    The FAA offers this handy reminder: Drones and football don’t mix, especially at the Super Bowl.

    Drivers ask about getting started with express lanes

    Questions arise about E-ZPass Flex rules and the toll signs.

    Montgomery Bikeshare program exceeds expectations

    The bike-sharing program attracted about 35,000 trips in its first year.

    Trifecta of problems on Metro’s rail lines

    Broken rail causes trains to share track on Green Line. Earlier, a disabled train at East Falls Church caused delays.

    Traffic-choked roads don’t yield sufficient gas tax revenue

    Report says 40 percent of roadways don’t generate enough money to cover maintenance costs.

    Multi-vehicle crash causes delays on Interstate 270 south

    Drivers advised to avoid area of I-270 south near Montrose Road. No fatalities but delays.

    Travel woes continue after snowstorm

    Dozens of flights from D.C. area airports -- many bound for airports in the New York area and farther up the coast -- are delayed or canceled on Wednesday.

    Sen. Sanders wants to spend $1 trillion on infrastructure

    Vermont senator’s bill would increase spending on infrastructure by about $148 billion a year.

    WSSC seeks more time for legally required sewer repairs

    Utility said delays stemmed from Park Service’s slow permitting process to repair pipes in stream valleys.

    Weather messing with meetings on I-66’s future

    A second public session on Virginia’s HOT lanes plan has been called off because of wintry weather.

    Local Columns

    John Kelly

    John Kelly

    These Maryland couples haven’t missed a Super Bowl together in nearly 50 years.

    Robert McCartney

    Robert McCartney

    Brace yourself: Despite convictions for corruption, the ex-governor and his wife could get off.

    Petula Dvorak

    Petula Dvorak

    Sorority sisters ordered by their council to stay in this weekend need to fight instead.

    Petula Dvorak

    Petula Dvorak

    The Disneyland measles outbreak is the result of discredited research linking vaccines to autism.

    Photo Galleries

    Learning the fine art of bottling whiskey

    At Purcellville distillery, spirit lovers process Roundstone Rye from cask to bottle.

    Sinkhole swallows car in Bladensburg area

    A 12-inch water-main break caused a residential street to give way and swallow a car in the Bladensburg area.

    A prize patrol’s delivery: College acceptance

    Forget fat envelopes in the mail. For some University of Maryland applicants, getting in meant getting a knock on the front door.

    Annapolis mansion destroyed by fire

    Owners Don and Sandra Pyle and four of their grandchildren died in the blaze.

    Leesburg celebrates Martin Luther King Jr.

    Nearly 1,000 people parade through the town’s historic streets to honor the slain civil rights leader.

    Maryland’s inauguration day

    New Gov. Larry Hogan and his lieutenant, Boyd Rutherford, are sworn in after an interfaith prayer service.

    Another bout of snow

    The Washington area endured another round of slick roads and rocky commutes.

    Virginia doctor keeps on trucking

    Rob Marsh administers care from a clinic at a truck stop in Raphine. Truckers passing through as well as locals are his patient base.

    Our Washington

    From waterfronts to monuments, Post photographers share their favorite D.C. spots.

    More photos