At least a dozen people were displaced and four properties were damaged in a Sunday morning fire in the 300 block of 18th Street NE, the D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department said.
No injuries were reported.
Firefighters received a call about the blaze at 8:45 a.m. At least two of the buildings were occupied when the fire broke out, according to fire department spokesman Doug Buchanan. The fire initially started at 314 18th St., and there was fire, smoke or water damage at three adjoining rowhouses, 312, 316 and 318.
Anthony Cary, 19, who lives on the opposite side of the street, said he rushed to help his neighbors as soon as he became aware of the fire. Only one person was still inside when he got to the burning structures, and that person managed to escape unharmed from the back door.
“It was just smoke and fire,” Cary said.
The fire appears to have been caused by an electrical problem in the garage of No. 314 18th Street, according to the owner of the house, who gave his first name as Kelly but declined to give his last name.
The houses on either side of that one appeared to have been empty when the blaze occurred, residents of the block said. One of the houses was under renovation, and the occupants of the other house were out of town.
Kelly’s brother-in-law, Chris Quander, 59, lives in the basement of the rowhouse but was not home when it began,
He said “everything in the house is gone,” including a flat screen television, clothes and a computer. A pile of charred furniture was in the back yard.
Kelly said his family will stay in a hotel for a few days. “We got our lives,” he said.
The offices of D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser and the Red Cross were also offering assistance.