Residents Evacuated After A Street Partial Building Collapse

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DC Fire EMS works at the scene of a building collapse on the 1800 block of A Street SE Jan 9, 2022. witter/@dcfireems

On Sunday night, the roof and second floor had collapsed down in a two story end of a row house under renovation at 1819 A St. SE.

Firefighters said there was no indication of anyone inside the house at the time. However, the crew put up an aerial ladder to view the rubble from above and used thermal imaging equipment to see if there were any human heat signatures.

They found no evidence of people inside, DC FEMS representative Vito Maggiolo said via email.

“There were no injuries but the building is unsafe,” Maggiolo wrote. “A DCRA [Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs] inspector was on location and in discussion with the building owner on their course of action.”

A DCRA spokesperson confirmed that an inspector was on site to assist DC DCFEMS to stabilize the dwelling, but did not respond to questions about the history of inspection and problems at the dwelling.“We are still gathering information and will address the issue as soon as we can do so effectively,” said a DCRA representative.

The collapse was not linked to a May 2021 fire on the same block that claimed the life of one woman and damaged adjacent homes, Maggiolo said.

Citing a threat of a secondary collapse, firefighters also evacuated portions of a two story apartment building across the alley. All those residents had alternate housing, spokesperson Vito Maggiolo said, so Red Cross Assistance was not required. 

It was one of two incidents that DC Fire was called to service in the neighborhood within the hours. Firefighters received the call about the building collapse as they worked to extract a man from under a train at Potomac Avenue Metro Station.