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Woman killed in fire in vacant DC rowhouse

A woman who had apparently huddled in the basement of a vacant rowhouse to take shelter from the cold died Monday night after the building burned, DC fire officials said.

The woman, who has not been identified, was found by firefighers who searched the home in the 900-block of Kennedy Street NW, said Fire Department spokesman Pete Piringer. She was treated by paramedics at the scene and later died at Washington Hospital Center.

Piringer said someone in a neighboring apartment building called 911 about 8:50 p.m. Monday. Firefighters arrived to find smoke pouring through the boarded up windows of the rowhouse. He said the woman was found during a routine search.

"It appeared people were using the structure to stay warm," Piringer said. He encouraged residents to call 311 if they are aware of other cases in which people are taking shelter in abandoned buildings.

Investigators think the blaze was started by discarded smoking materials, Piringer said. He said the woman appeared to be about 45-years-old.
-- Maria Glod

By Maria Glod  |  December 22, 2009; 8:37 AM ET
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Ummm... if there was someone in it, the townhouse wasn't really vacant, was it?

Sorry about the lady.

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | December 22, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

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