Fire Damage Estimated at $20 Million for D.C. Apartments, Church

March 19, 2008

D.C. fire officials said a fire that tore through a Mount Pleasant apartment building and a church next door caused at least $20 million in damage.

The apartment building has been shored up, and investigators continue to work at the scene. But they have not yet determined what caused the fire.

Assistant Fire Chief Lawrence Schultz said a dog trained to detect accelerant from a potential arson didn’t detect anything suspicious. Officials say that doesn’t rule out arson. But it makes it less likely.

More than 200 people were left homeless. Many have been moved to a Best Western hotel and are awaiting more permanent housing from the city.

The fire caused about $5 million in damage to the apartment building and about $15 million in damage at Meridian Hill Baptist Church.

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