A 96-year-old woman died after a fire consumed her house in Shaw late Tuesday as her neighborhood’s assigned firetruck was covering Southeast amid a shortage of reserve emergency vehicles.
“It’s alarming to hear a citizen has died because of a lack of coverage,” a senior official in the D.C. Fire and EMS Department familiar with safety oversight told The Washington Times on the condition of anonymity. “The fire department is continuing to play Russian roulette not only with civilian lives but also with firefighters’ lives.”
The fire burned the back porch of the row house on the 1800 block of North Capitol Street NW, then spread to the first floor. Firefighters from Rescue Squad 1 went in to rescue a woman they heard was trapped inside, according to a copy of that evening’s shift report obtained by The Washington Times.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has not released the identity of the 96-year-old woman or the cause of her death. But WRC-TV identified the woman as Annie Maiden.