DC: Row house in fatal fire wasn’t approved for rent

WASHINGTON (AP) — The city of Washington, D.C., says a row house that caught fire and killed a tenant wasn’t licensed to even have tenants.

News outlets report the overcrowded home was mostly filled with Ethiopian tenants working to send money to their families. A Sunday morning fire killed one of them and severely injured a 9-year-old boy.

Authorities have yet to determine an official cause of the fire, but said the row house’s narrow halls, broken smoke detectors and barred exits were a deadly combination. Even the building’s front door was blocked by metal bars, which were ripped off as tenants screamed for help.

Court records list the home’s owner as 61-year-old James Walker, who didn’t answer The Washington Post ‘s calls and told WJLA-TV that he wasn’t aware of the home’s conditions.

Copyright © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up