WASHINGTON - Three days after a deadly fire in Northwest D.C. displaced around 200 people from their apartments, residents were allowed back inside the building on Tuesday to collect what was left from the place they used call home.
For the first time since the fire broke out Saturday morning, residents went back inside their apartment complex on Peabody Street, which has been under the control of the city since the fire. A chain link fence has been put up to keep people out because the massive blaze still remains under investigation.
One resident captured Saturday's fire on cellphone video. He said the fire started in a unit on the front side of the building and then spread towards the back of the building where his family lived. His unit was damaged mainly by smoke and water.
The residents gathered at the apartment complex at around 2 p.m., proved their residency here and were then escorted to their units by special police and building management. They were told they had ten minutes to try and grab what could be salvageable, especially small, but more important items such as personal documents and passports.
After 6 p.m., special police and the city once again took control of this now-vacant and destroyed building. Fire crews made a stop earlier in the day to check on the structure.
Fire investigators believe the fire may have started on a third-floor unit where the only victim who succumbed to the fire was found. The victim has been identified by police as 34-year-old Edwin Romero.