Firefighters cheered after D.C. condo blaze

By Martin Weil
Monday, March 21, 2011; 1:40 AM

Fighting fires is a difficult job. But sometimes, there are unexpected rewards, such as applause.

A fire broke out about 3 a.m. Sunday in a condominium building in the 1200 block of Vermont Avenue NW in the District. It was confined to one unit on the sixth floor, said Pete Piringer, a spokesman for the D.C. fire and emergency services department.

At least two residents were evacuated on ladders, and others were guided out by firefighters.

Piringer said the fire, which was extinguished in about 10 minutes, was apparently caused by an unattended candle. When the firefighters came down to the lobby, where the residents were waiting, "we said thanks, and gave 'em a hand," said resident Carolyn Eskridge.

Piringer said the firefighters did not report the applause. He said he thought they might have been embarrassed.

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