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Want to help those displaced by DC senior housing fire? Have a drink

The drink will run on the menu indefinitely, and Osteria Morini says all proceeds will go to the nonprofit Capitol Hill Community Foundation, which is working directly with those displaced by the Arthur Capper fire.

WASHINGTON — In an effort to help the 160 displaced and the 10 injured after a fire at a senior housing building in Southeast D.C., upscale eatery Osteria Morini has added a special cocktail to their menu to raise funds: The Arthur Capper.

The drink will run on the menu indefinitely, and the company says all proceeds will go to the nonprofit Capitol Hill Community Foundation, which is working directly with those displaced.

It’s part of a collaboration with Tito’s Vodka and Arcadia Farms.

The “Arthur Capper” cocktail is a concoction of Tito’s Vodka, Earl Grey tea, honey, lemon, orange, and holy basil from Arcadia Farms.

The Sept. 19 blaze broke out in the roof level of the apartment building at 900 5th St. around 3:20 p.m.

Firefighters worked into the night to contain the flames.

Smoke from the fire could be seen from the Woodley Park neighborhood in Northwest D.C.

In the week after the fire, a 74-year-old man was found amid the ruins of the building.

He was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and was later discharged from the hospital.

The District had “looked at the building management to tell us who lived in the building, and if those people were accounted for,” D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser told reporters during a Sept. 24 news conference.

D.C. has been working to match each displaced household with a case manager. (The District subsidizes rents there for lower-income residents.) “Some are in non-acute nursing care and others, we believe, are with family and friends,” Bowser said.

The company that manages the building launched an internal investigation of its facilities and decision-making in the wake of the fire.

“We have opened an internal investigation and are working closely with the D.C. Council, D.C. Fire Chief and the Mayor to understand exactly what happened, and why,” said Edgewood Management CEO Cindy Sanquist, in a statement. “The safety and security of our residents in the communities we serve is our top priority.”

A source familiar with the management company said immediately after the fire, Edgewood Management assured residents had somewhere to live — some were placed in hotels, others in nearby properties run by the company.

“We have been working to relocate all of the residents affected by the fire and help them secure long-term housing in the days and weeks to come,” Sanquist said.

Mayor Muriel Bowser said full recovery from the fire will take “many, many months,” and vowed to help provide services seniors would need, while their housing is in flux.

WTOP’s Teta Alim, Jack Pointer, Neal Augenstein and Kristi King contributed to this report.


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