An early morning house fire rattles one Southeast DC neighborhood. A 4-year-old girl is in critical condition, suffering from burns and smoke inhalation. Meantime, the man who owns the home where she lived is charged with assaulting one of her family members, while firefighters worked to save her. Police arrested 46-year-old Jerome Calvary Lewis.
Flames tore through the home along 33rd Street around 3 a.m. All 5 adults living there were able to escape, along with a 2 year old boy, but the 4 year old girl was trapped on the second floor. Firefighters found her unconscious. She was transported to Children's National Medical Center.
The house is directly behind the home of Mayor Vincent Gray. Police say it was his security who first called in the fire. Lt. Christopher Kauffman explained that, "Then an argument takes place in front while police are here. They take action and make an arrest." The owner of the home, who neighbors say lived in the basement, is charged with simple assault and making felony threats. The other adults included the mother of the children, her boyfriend, her sister and her mother. According to the police report, Lewis threatened to kill one of the women, and then attempted to kick her before officers stepped in.
All of the adults, including the arrested man, were at some point taken to the hospital. Each suffered from minor injuries, burns and/or smoke inhalation. The 2 year old boy was also treated at the hospital but has been released.
Fire investigators are working to determine what caused the fire, and whether it was accidental or suspicious in nature. Kauffman says, "We don't have enough to say right now that it was an arson."
WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
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