A massive fire struck a four-story Southeast Washington housing complex for seniors Wednesday afternoon.
Some of the first responders were neighbors, including Marines from the Barracks Washington at 8th & I, located just down the street.
Dramatic videos on social media show large plumes of smoke billowing from the building and even the complex’s roof collapsing. One showed Marines rushing from the barracks to help rescue seniors. They pushed wheelchairs and stretchers toward the burning building.
“Marines rushed into the building to rescue those who needed assistance and evacuated residents to the Marine Barracks Washington Annex where they were checked and treated for any injuries and sheltered until their loved ones arrived,” said a post on the Barracks Washington Facebook page.
“We all went in there to carry people out,” Capt. Trey Gregory said live on NBC News4 Washington. The Marines carried residents out of the building over their shoulders, he said.
All residents are accounted for, officials told WTOP, and at least four people were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Eighty residents have been displaced in nearby shelters.
“We aren’t sure how the fire started at Arthur Capper Senior Building in Navy Yard,” D.C. councilman Charles Allen said in a statement. “Firefighters needed to rescue a few residents via window from the higher floors.”
Andrea Scott is editor of Marine Corps Times. On Twitter: @_andreascott.