- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 25, 2006


D.C. firefighters did their part for the arts yesterday, rescuing several high-priced pieces from a house that was on fire in Georgetown.

The fire broke out just after 3:30 p.m. in the 3100 block of P Street Northwest, said Alan Etter, a spokesman for the D.C. fire department. The house was the residence of veteran diplomat and international political strategist Paul H. Nitze until his death in 2004.

Neighbors notified firefighters that there were several expensive pieces of artwork inside.

Firefighters determined that conditions were safe enough to remove more than a dozen pieces from the first and second floors before they suffered fire, smoke or water damage.

No one was hurt.

The fire was elevated to a second alarm when firefighters detected flames in the attic and roof and heavy smoke in the basement. Firefighters learned that the smoke collecting in the basement was being forced through an elevator shaft that ran from the basement to the attic.

Mr. Etter said workers were repairing part of the roof using torches, but it was not clear whether the torches were responsible for the fire. He said the cause had not been determined.



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