(Updated at 10 a.m.) Firefighters rescued two people who were trapped in a burning rowhouse in Hill East early this morning, and streets in the area are still shut down.
The blaze broke out about 5:45 a.m. at 410 16th St. SE, D.C. Fire and EMS officials said. The fire was extinguished by 6:25 a.m.
One person was transported to a hospital with critical injuries. Another person suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries, officials said, declining to describe the nature of the injuries.
Authorities are still investigating the cause of the fire.
A couple lives in the house, according to a neighbor who declined to give her name. She said she spotted flames coming out from behind the house, as she observed the scene.
Tenley Dalstrom, another neighbor, jumped out of bed when she heard screaming before 6 a.m. She saw a “gigantic fire” and called 911.
“It was nerve-racking,” Dalstrom said. “It’s not the way anyone wants to start the day.”
Shawn Terry, who also lives on the block, said he awoke when he heard someone honking a car horn in an apparent effort to alert others about the fire. Terry said he wanted to rescue the people, but the fire and smoke were “too much.”
“It was disheartening to see a fire and you’re incapable of helping,” he said.
The 400 blocks of 16th and 17th streets are closed to traffic, between E and D streets.
Fire photos courtesy of Tenley Dalstrom