D.C. police arrested Garfield Wells, 42, and charged him with homicide in connection with the deaths of two persons in a fire early yesterday at 1823 D St. NE.

Two other persons remain hospitalized, one in critical condition from burns at Washington Hospital Center, and the other in stable condition at D.C. General Hospital as a result of the fire.

Police and hospital officials refused to identify the two dead persons pending notification of next of kin. A spokeswoman at Washington Hospital Center said the patient in critical condition is a [WORD ILLEGIBLE] woman with second and third-degree burns over 60 per cent of her body.

The spokeswoman said that the patient who died at the hospital was a 77-year-old man but refused to give further details.

An official at D.C. General Hospital said Walter Proetor, was in stable condition after suffering injuries when he jumped from the second story of the burning building.

The blaze, which fire officials said took 30 minutes to extinguish, started in the two-story, brick town house apartments shortly after midnight. It apparently started at the front door and went up the stairs, they said, causing the heaviest damage to the top two floors. One charred body was found inside the building, officials said.

Ohio fireman, George A. Hackley of engine company 8, was treated at Washington Hospital Center for a minor burn on his hand.