DC officials: No violations at site of NW house collapse

The head of D.C.’s Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs said Friday that the construction site where a building collapsed Thursday was last inspected in May, in response to a complaint from a neighbor, and that no violations had been issued.

Director Ernest Chrappah said that inspection at 916 Kennedy Street Northwest in response to a complaint of illegal construction “wasn’t the traditional construction inspection.” He said there were no complaints about “the quality of construction.”

Mayor Muriel Bowser emphasized that “DCRA has investigated several complaints, including illegal construction, including when the property was vacant and not under construction. And DCRA has issued no violations as it relates to this property.”

Referring to the collapse, she said, “Obviously something like this is very troubling.”

Chrappah added that the site had all the appropriate permits.

Neither he nor Bowser could provide any information on what caused the collapse, which injured five construction workers, one of whom was strapped in the wreckage for about an hour and a half before being rescued by D.C. firefighters. Nor could they say how long the investigation would take, or give an update on the workers’ condition.

Garrett Whitescarver, the chief building official for the DCRA, said the neighboring house had repairable damage to the roof. He said no one will be able to go back to that house or another building that has been damaged until the debris has been removed, which will likely start next week.

Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2012 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He went to George Washington University as an undergraduate and is regularly surprised at the changes to the city since that faraway time.

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