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Posted at 3:50 PM ET, 12/16/2010

Fire at home of ex-Redskin Mitchell

By Paul Duggan
Paul Duggan

An accidential fire Wednesday morning heavily damaged the D.C. home of former Washington Redskins great Bobby Mitchell, authorities said.

The blaze, in the Shepherd Park area of Northwest Washington, was sparked by an electrical problem in a second-floor bedroom of the two-story house, fire department spokesman Pete Piringer said. He said the flames spread to the attic and through the roof.

A passerby in the 1500 block of Locust Road NW saw smoke coming from the upper part of the house and summoned firefighters, Piringer said. He said two females, an adult and a juvenile, who were unaware of the fire, were safely evacuated from the house.

Mitchell, 75, who was not at home when the fire started, has a unique place in Redskins history. Pressured by federal officials to break his team's color barrier, then-owner George Preston Marshall acquired Mitchell from the Cleveland Browns in 1962, making him the franchise's first African American player.

After a stellar career as a running back and wide receiver in the late 1950s and '60s, Mitchell was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1983.

Piringer said the fire left the house unsafe to occupy. "I understand this is a second home for the family," Piringer said. "So they're not homeless."

By Paul Duggan  | December 16, 2010; 3:50 PM ET
Categories:  Celebrities, Fires & Fire Safety, Paul Duggan, The District  
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Another cheap 1st?

Posted by: zornskins2 | December 16, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry Bobby.You are truly a Redskins great.

Posted by: seanmg | December 17, 2010 12:06 AM | Report abuse

I am glad the famiy memebers are safe and unharmed.

Posted by: ggant | December 17, 2010 7:49 AM | Report abuse

Bobby Mitchell in my opinion is the greatest Redskin of all time if not for he and Charley Taylor along with the late Jerry Smith, Sonny Jurgensen would be nothing more then a mere footnote in Redskin history.

Posted by: dargregmag | December 17, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Ummmmm, WaPo the Redskins have had several Micthells, so can you next time be a little bit more accurate?

Posted by: PublicEnemy1 | December 17, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

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