WEB UPDATE: Fire damages apartment room

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Posted Wednesday, Feb. 1, 12:56 a.m. A fire on the first floor of The York apartment building at 20th and F streets severely damaged a room late Tuesday night.

Firefighters arrived at the scene around 11:30 p.m. Fire trucks lined the surrounding streets, and hoses were unwrapped and brought into the building to combat the flames. Firefighters said they did not know the cause of the blaze.

“Everything in the apartment was damaged,” a D.C. Fire Department lieutenant said at the scene. He added that “the fire appeared to be accidental.”

The lieutenant said no one was injured in the fire and the building was evacuated. The fire department saved two cats from the burning room. “The cats were trying to get out of a busted window, and one of our men got them out,” the lieutenant said.

Laetita Cornbrinck, a resident on The York’s eighth floor, said she opened her door and smelled smoke, grabbed her cat and went downstairs.

“This was real smoke,” she said.

“When I came down the stairs, there was a lot of smoke coming from the first floor, and it was pretty clear that there was a fire,” said Jason Paral, a second-year law student and seventh-floor resident.

Torfinn Harding, a resident of The York who works at the World Bank, said residents in the building seemed to remain calm despite the blaze.

“At first I thought it was a regular drill. By the time I came down I saw people taking it seriously. I knew that it was real, but people were still calm,” Harding said.

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