Bizarre house fire in Southeast D.C. turns deadly

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Local,DC,Crime,Scott McCabe

A 4-year-old girl burned in a fire in Southeast Washington early Sunday has died of her injuries, and fire homicide detectives continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the deadly blaze that resulted in the arrest of a resident on unrelated charges.

The child was identified Wednesday as Samauri Jenkins, D.C. police said. She died Tuesday.

The cause and origin of the fire continue to be investigated by the Arson Task Force, which includes members of the D.C. police Homicide Arson Squad; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and the D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department.

The blaze was discovered about 3:15 a.m. Sunday by a patrol officer who reported seeing smoke and fire coming from a residence on the 2600 block of 33rd St. SE.

Seven people were in the home when the fire broke out, including several that had to escape the heat and flames.

Firefighters rescued a male toddler, and an adult female jumped from the second floor.

Family members told rescuers that Samauri was unaccounted for, and firefighters found the child in an upstairs bedroom.

She was unconscious and not breathing, and firefighters pulled her out of the home and performed CPR on the little girl.

Samauri was rushed to a hospital in critical condition. She was pronounced dead Tuesday. The cause and manner of death is undetermined and pending the results of an autopsy.

While on the scene of the fire Sunday, a man who had escaped the fire became belligerent and allegedly made threats against one of the women who had been in the home that was on fire and tried to assault her, police said.

Officers at the scene arrested 46-year-old Jerome Calvary Lewis and charged him with felony threats and simple assault. He has not been charged in connection with the fire, police said.

A woman and young boy were taken to a hospital and released. Two other adult females remain in the hospital in serious condition, police said Wednesday.

The fire appears to have begun in the basement, and investigators are still trying to determine how it started.

Samauri's was the third fire fatality this year in the District. Glenn Morris Williams and Diane Toogood were killed earlier this month by a fire at a boarded-up, vacant, two-story apartment on the 1700 block of R St. SE.

smccabe@washingtonexaminer.com

smccabe@washingtonexaminer.com

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