Fires have sent plumes of smoke over NoMa for two nights in a row and gutted two buses in a parking lot — but that’s not keeping drivers or an apparent homeless encampment away.
The lot on the unit block of New York Avenue NE today was filled with dozens of cars, even though two, burned-out buses occupied the northwest corner of the property.
The buses, which caught fire in evening blazes on Tuesday and Wednesday, sent black clouds of smoke over NoMa, sending firefighters to the scene.
The causes of the fires haven’t been determined, D.C. fire department spokesman Timothy Wilson said. No injuries were reported.
Michael Glenn, who works in a nearby office building, said he saw the blaze Tuesday night. His car was close to the fire.
“I didn’t want to get in my car because I thought it would explode,” Glenn said.
Homeless people had lived in the buses for months, he said. This morning, clothes, a suitcase and a folding shopping cart could be seen near the two charred buses. A third bus nearby appeared to have people living inside.
The buses had signage from OnBoard Tours, which offers sightseeing trips around D.C. A representative of the company wasn’t immediately available to comment.
Glenn said he had contacted homeless outreach representatives to alert them to the people living in the lot. He said he saw human feces nearby.
“It got to the point where it started to smell,” Glenn said. “It just got bad.”
Despite the fires, Glenn said he will continue to use the parking lot.
“I don’t have anywhere else to park,” he said.