Family members were not injured in either fire, but a firefighter was taken to a hospital for treatment of a burned foot, Brady said.
Coleman, in his mid-80s, was the D.C. fire chief from 1983 to 1988, Brady said. He was at the house during both fires, Brady said.
The events in which Coleman came face to face with the hazards associated with his former occupation apparently began about 7:30 p.m. Sunday.
Firefighters sent to Lihou Court found smoke coming from a garage attached to the house, Brady said. The firefighters contained the fire and put it out quickly, he said.
The damage, which was estimated at about $5,000, was apparently enough to displace family members, who went to stay with neighbors. The accidental fire was caused by an unattended grill that was too placed close to the house, Brady said.
A repair contractor was working on the house Tuesday when the family arrived to get personal items, Brady said. Fire then broke out on the second floor, injuring the firefighter, he said.
He said Coleman’s greatest concern appeared to be for the injured firefighter, whom he wanted to visit at the hospital.
The second fire is under investigation but is not considered suspicious, Brady said.
He said family members will stay with a daughter.
Among the items salvaged by firefighters, Brady said, werephotos from Coleman’s days as chief.