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Man Sets Fire in Apartment After Past-Due Rent Notice

Police arrested a man on Monday on charges of arson. He is accused of setting a fire in his apartment after getting a notice that his rent was overdue.

Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) First District went to the Arthur Capper Senior Apartments (900 Fifth Street SE) on Monday, March 4, 2024, at approximately 3:55 p.m. after getting reports of a man barricaded in an apartment on fire. They were called at the same time as members of DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services (DCFEMS), who extinguished the fire. Sprinkler activation helped to contain the blaze.  

Police say after receiving the past-due rent from the property manager, the suspect threatened the employee. He then returned to his apartment and intentionally set items on fire.

The fire was on the third floor apartment and resulted in the evacuation of other residents. The individual was taken in custody and evaluated by EMS. A number of senior Citizens were also safely evacuated, DC Fire said on Twitter/X; some were sheltered in the nearby Arthur Capper Community Center.

The same building suffered severe damage in September 2018 when a three-alarm blaze ripped through the apartments. Although initally reports said all residents were accounted for, a 74-year-old man was pulled from the wreckage five days later.

This fire damaged about 9 units, officials said. The 63-year-old Southeast man was arrested and charged with Arson and Threats to do Bodily Harm.

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