Two women made a daring escape Friday from a burning residence in Northeast Washington, authorities said.
The fire began around 6:30 p.m. on the first floor of a brick duplex at 4603 Hunt Place in Deanwood.
As the flames rose toward them, an adult woman and a teenage girl climbed out a second-story window and lowered themselves onto a ledge above the front door, according to D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services spokesman Vito Maggiolo. The two were then able to drop to the ground and flee to safety before firefighters arrived.
Their escape came just in time.
"When we arrived, we found the first floor heavily engulfed in fire, with fire already spreading to the second floor," Maggiolo said Saturday.
Photos of the blaze show flames roaring out of broken windows as smoke billowed down the block.
Around 50 firefighters and support personnel were able to contain the one-alarm fire within 20 minutes and prevent it from spreading to the attached residence, Maggiolo said.
"This was quick, aggressive firefighting," he said.
One firefighter suffered minor injuries during the operation, Maggiolo said, and investigators were still working to determine the cause of the fire.
Two people were transported to George Washington University Hospital for smoke inhalation, according to D.C. police.
The fire displaced eight people on a night when temperatures dipped well below freezing.
One of them was Darlene Peeler, who told The Washington Post that she lived in the residence with her daughter and granddaughter.
It was the granddaughter, age 16, and her older cousin who escaped from the fire by climbing out the window, according to a family friend reached by phone Saturday.
Peeler said she was at a friend's house Friday night and wasn't aware of the fire until one of her daughter's friends called at around 1 a.m.
"I don't have nothing but what I have on right now," Peeler said. "I don't even have a coat."