- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 4, 2009

UPDATED:

A three-alarm fire Thursday morning in the District’s Brookland neighborhood destroyed two homes and heavily damaged another, city fire officials say.

The fire started just before 10 a.m. at a single-family home in the 2200 block of Douglas Street Northeast, then spread to the homes on both sides, said D.C. fire department spokesman Alan Etter.

Roughly 180 firefighters and EMS personnel using 70 pieces of equipment controlled the blaze in about 90 minutes.

Mr. Etter said there were no injuries but the blaze destroyed two of the homes and left a residence at 2212 Douglas Street with “significant damage.”

“The fire department arrived to a home that was fully engulfed and had already spread to at least one of the homes,” he said. “This fire had been going on for a very long time before anybody even noticed it.”

Officials have yet to determine the cause of the fire, which was extinguished by about 11:15 a.m.

Mr. Etter said the home where the blaze started was too unsound for an investigator to enter, but officials hoped to be able to determine a cause later.

He also said officials did not yet know how many people were displaced by the blaze.

“We don’t know exactly who lives where yet,” he said.

Members of the Myers family, which lived in one of the homes, were at a kindergarten ceremony at a nearby elementary school when neighbors told them their home was engulfed in flames, according to WJLA-TV (Channel 7).

“All I can do is laugh to keep from crying,” Bernard Myers told the station. “I mean, I had 37 years of my life in that house.”

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