Car fire on E Street investigated as arson

Fire fighters put out a car fire Monday afternoon. The car burst into flames just outside the Elliott School of International Affairs. Cameron Lancaster | Photo Editor
Fire fighters put out a car fire Monday afternoon. The car burst into flames just outside the Elliott School of International Affairs. Cameron Lancaster | Photo Editor

Updated: Nov. 25 at 11:06 p.m.

City officials are investigating the possibility of arson in a large car fire that smoldered outside the Elliott School of International Affairs Monday.

D.C. Fire and EMS, University police and the Metropolitan Police Department responded to the call, which took place at about 3:43 p.m. The fire, which filled the sidewalk with smoke, was extinguished within 20 minutes.

Senior Emmeline Ha said when she walked out of class in the Elliott School, she saw a pile of flaming leaves near a car and a police officer trying to stomp out the flames.

“Then all of a sudden the car caught on fire and it really escalated from there,” Ha said. About 10 people were standing nearby and several ran into the Elliott School to find fire extinguishers to put out the blaze, she said.

Shortly after the fire started, the car’s owner – a middle-aged woman – ran out of the Elliott School and frantically began making calls.

No one was injured in the blaze, a D.C. Fire spokesman said. Investigators are still trying to determine the cause.

Nearby buildings, including the Elliott School and the 1959 E Street residence hall, were not evacuated.

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