Illegal firework ignites blaze in DC apartment building

An illegal firework ignited a blaze in a high-rise building that houses seniors in Northwest D.C. on Tuesday, sending two people to the hospital.

D.C. Fire and EMS said a Roman candle set off from the street landed on the fifth-floor balcony of an apartment building at 1140 North Capitol Street NW around 6 p.m.

The fire then spread to the apartment and sent smoke to several floors of the building, Vito Maggiolo of D.C. Fire and EMS, told WTOP. He said the building is mostly home to senior citizens, many of whom have mobility issues.

Dozens of residents had to be evacuated, and two people were hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries.

There’s no word on how many people the fire displaced.

Launching fireworks in D.C. is illegal. Any person found engaging in the use or possession of illegal fireworks in the city could face fines up to $1,000 and/or arrest.

Residents can email tips about illegal fireworks to Fireworks.fems@dc.gov.

Anna Gawel

Anna Gawel joined WTOP in 2020 and works in both the radio and digital departments. Anna Gawel has spent much of her career as the managing editor of The Washington Diplomat, which has been the flagship publication of D.C.’s diplomatic community for over 25 years.

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