1 dead after fire in DC homeless encampment

A person was found dead after a fire in a homeless encampment in Northwest D.C. Monday evening.

D.C. Fire and EMS officials said the fire began in a section of Allen Park on New Jersey Avenue and O Street near Dunbar High School just before 11 p.m.



Crews arrived to find a tent fire and immediately put it out. Afterward, they found a person dead inside the tent.

Investigators are working to determine the identity of the person who died, and it is unknown if the person in the fire was living on the site.

An autopsy will determine the cause of death. Officials say the cause of the fire remains under investigation. D.C. police’s homicide and fire investigators stayed at the scene.

On Tuesday, fire crews returned to the area to conduct safety checks and provide safety education to residents.

Online publication The DC Line reported in June that two other deaths has occurred at the site this year — one in March and another in May.

It was the second incident involving a homeless encampment in the District. Earlier on Monday, a resident was taken to the hospital after being picked up by a front-end loader in an encampment in the NoMa neighborhood. The event prompted city officials to change how it clears out homeless camps immediately.

Below is where the fire took place.

Fire officials said that there were a series of fires in the Shaw neighborhood that occurred overnight Monday into Tuesday, but they said preliminarily, they do not believe that what happened at the homeless camp in Allen Park is related to any other subsequent incidents.

The fires happened at the following locations after 1 a.m. Tuesday:

  • 2100 block of 10th Street NW – three trash cans
  • 1000 block of V Street NW – two trash cans
  • 1900 block of Vermont Avenue NW – dumpster
  • 1100 block of T Street NW – outside near a tree
  • 1700 block of Euclid Street NW – dumpster

These fires are part of an ongoing investigation involving similar fires, which began earlier this summer in the same area.

Fire and EMS officials are looking for a woman who may be linked to the fires. Anyone with information should call the Arson Tip Line at 202-673-ARSON.

DC Fire and EMS are searching for a person in connection to several fires that were set in the Shaw area. (Courtesy DC Fire and EMS)

WTOP’s Abigail Constantino contributed to this report.

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