Major Fire at Eastern High School
UPDATED 5:55 P.M.
Smoke billowed this afternoon from the roof of Eastern Senior High School, which is nearing the end of a $76 million renovation.
According to D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services, firefighters responded to reports of heavy black smoke coming from the building's roof shortly before 4:30 p.m. By 4:45, a second alarm had been called. East Capitol Street is closed east of Lincoln Park.
By 5:10, the smoke had stopped coming from the roof, and a police officer on the scene reported that the blaze was under control.
The school, built in 1932, has been closed since 2008 for a thorough renovation and had been scheduled to reopen this fall (although D.C. Public Schools officials recently backed off that timeline). Fire department spokesperson Pete Piringer said a "minimal amount of people" were in the building, which was quickly evacuated without incident. It's unclear if construction work was underway at the time.
Earlier today, a fire broke out at the Turner @ Green Elementary School, at 1500 Mississippi Ave. SE, causing damage to the school's playground and the building facade. Congress Heights on the Rise reported from the scene.
Photo, reporting by Arthur Delaney
UPDATE, 5:55 P.M.: The fire is out, Piringer reports from the scene. Construction crews were on the roof at Eastern today, he says, applying a waterproof rubberized membrane when the fire broke out; the roofers all escaped without incident. The blaze was contained to the roof, Piringer says, adding that any smoke or water damage to the rest of the building is "minimal."
The fire is likely accidental, Piringer says, and there looks to be no connection to the fire at Turner @ Green. That fire "totaled" playground equipment, while causing "superficial damage" to the building itself. The cause of that fire is under investigation.