Oxygen is administered to a cat found in an apartment where fire broke out Sunday. (DC Fire and EMS photo)

This story has been updated. All human occupants escaped safely Sunday from a fire in an apartment house in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Northwest Washington, and firefighters also saved a cat.

The cat was discovered after the fire was knocked down in the building in the 1400 block of Girard Street NW, said Vito Maggiolo, a spokesman for the D.C. Fire and EMS Department.

The fire was on the second and third floors of a four-story building, he said. The cat was found in an apartment that was on fire, Maggiolo said.

It was “hanging on to something for dear life,” he said.

Cradling it carefully, firefighters administered oxygen.

Late Sunday night, Maggiolo said, the cat was “vastly improved.” It appeared, he said, that it would be cared for at least overnight by the city’s animal welfare agency.


Fire broke out Sunday in an apartment house in the Columbia Heights area. No injuries were reported. (dc fire and ems photo)

It could not be learned how the cat came to be found in the apartment.

Maggiolo said authorities recommend that occupants of burning premises get out immediately, without taking anything with them.