Man who escaped fatal blaze charged with victim’s murder

WASHINGTON – The death of a 4-year-old girl who died after a weekend fire has been ruled a homicide and a man who escaped the blaze has been charged with her murder.

D.C. police said Friday that an autopsy determined the death of Samauri Jenkins was a homicide. The 4-year-old died Tuesday of injuries she sustained in the fire.

Also Friday, police arrested Jerome Calvary Lewis, 46, in the 500 block of Indiana Avenue NW, on a warrant. He is charged with second degree murder for Samauri’s death.

Police say Lewis escaped the same fire that killed Samauri. WJLA reports that Samauri was a member of Lewis’ extended family.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the Arson Task Force, which includes homicide detectives and D.C. fire investigators.

The fire broke out about 3:15 a.m. Sunday at a home in the 2600 block of 33rd Street SE. Several residents of the home escaped the fire and were transported to local hospitals. A toddler boy was treated and released, two women were admitted in stable condition and a third woman was treated and released, police say.

Samauri was found by firefighters unconscious and not breathing. She was taken to the hospital in critical condition and lasted a few days before she succumbed to her injuries, police say.

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