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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

    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

    Be prepared: McDonnells could be fully cleared on appeal

    Be prepared: McDonnells could be fully cleared on appeal

    Annoying but true: Fuzzy federal law means appeals courts could throw out McDonnells’ felony convictions.

    Pedestrian hit and killed on I-95 in Prince George’s County

    One lane of the highway was closed for much of the afternoon.

    Hogan agrees to anti-discrimination Medicaid rule

    Hogan agrees to anti-discrimination Medicaid rule

    He also approved two other regulations, but continued to review poultry waste measure.

    Arlington-Alexandria volunteer opportunities

    Arlington Regional Master Naturalists, Alexandria and Arlington Police Academies need volunteers.

    Alexandria and Arlington crime report

    Among incidents reported by police in Alexandria and Arlington.

    Alexandria-Arlington community calendar, Jan. 29-Feb. 5

    Workshops, winter art exhibits, nature programs, concerts, plays and cancer support groups.

    Osbourn names former Redskins OL Samuels coach

    Osbourn names former Redskins OL Samuels coach

    FOOTBALL | Six-time Pro Bowl offensive tackle Chris Samuels was approved as the Eagles’ new head football coach Wednesday, bringing “buzz and excitement” with him.

    Tejada will not run for reelection to Arlington board

    Tejada will not run for reelection to Arlington board

    The progressive Democrat says he will serve out his term this year but did not disclose his future plans.

    Who stays in the District?
    Not most transplants.

    Who stays in the District? <br>Not most transplants.

    A new study says only about 23 percent of people who moved to D.C. in 2004 were still here in 2012.

    Meanwhile in Oklahoma, record breaking... warmth

    Meanwhile in Oklahoma, record breaking... warmth

    In Oklahoma City, daily high records have been broken each day for the past three days.

    Nightlife Agenda: A Rent Party, local bluegrass and the Wig Night Out

    Nightlife Agenda: A Rent Party, local bluegrass and the Wig Night Out

    This week: Maryland bluegrass, Virginia beers and dance music to shake off the winter blues.

    Column

    A super record for watching the Super Bowl

    A super record for watching the Super Bowl

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

    Gun-control bill comes back to life in Virginia legislature

    A bill that would keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers passed out of a state Senate committee.

    Thursday afternoon wintry mix possible; better chance of snow or mix Sunday

    Thursday afternoon wintry mix possible; better chance of snow or mix Sunday

    Of the two weather systems, Sunday’s has somewhat greater potential to produce accumulating frozen precipitation. But we shouldn’t turn a blind eye to Thursday.

    McDuffie introduces Title IX legislation again

    The Ward 5 Council member reintroduced the bill to increase sports participation for girls.

     

    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.

    Boehner not inclined to meddle with D.C. pot vote, Bowser says

    After meeting with House speaker, new mayor says Boehner is focused on ‘national agenda.’

    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.

    Sanders wants to spend $1 trillion on infrastruture

    The investment is in line with the need, experts say.

    Broken traffic cameras contributed to revenue decline

    D.C. police initially claimed the drop was because more drivers were obeying the law.

    Local Columns

    John Kelly

    John Kelly

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

    Robert McCartney

    Robert McCartney

    Annoying but true: Fuzzy federal law means appeals courts could throw out McDonnells’ felony convictions.

    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