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Posted at 10:18 PM ET, 07/13/2010

Fire breaks out at St. E's

By Terri Rupar

Updated, 12:21 a.m.

A two-alarm fire, possibly caused by Tuesday night’s storm, caused substantial damage to a historic building on the campus of St. Elizabeths Hospital in Southeast Washington, a D.C. fire department spokesman said.

The fire broke out on the upper level of the Center Building, which is unoccupied, said Pete Piringer the fire department spokesman.

He said one of about 100 fire fighters sent to the scene in the 2700 block of Martin Luther King Jr., Ave. SE was injured in combating the blaze.

Investigators were looking into the possibility that the fire at the building, with its high-rise central tower, resulted from a lightning strike, Piringer said.

He said the building, on the hospital’s west campus, is the property of the Department of Homeland Security. Plans have been announced to relocate the department to the St. Elizabeths site.

--Martin Weil

By Terri Rupar  | July 13, 2010; 10:18 PM ET
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