A 74-year-old man was found alive inside his fire-damaged apartment five days after the D.C. senior complex he lived in caught fire. The Seattle Times reports that days before his rescue District officials announced that all building residents had been accounted for following the blaze.
According to the Seattle Times, Raymond Holton, was found after engineers assessing the structural integrity of the building heard him yelling. They used a crowbar to open the door to his second floor apartment and found him sitting on a couch. Holton did not have serious injuries and was taken to a local hospital for evaluation.
“I wasn’t scared. I be here by myself anyway,” Holton said in a telephone interview from the hospital. “I thought they forgot about me. I didn’t know about no fire.”
After Holton was found on Monday, firefighters and federal agents with dogs searched the building again and said they found no one else inside, reports the Times.
Mayor Muriel Bowser, and Fire Chief Gregory Dean reportedly blamed the building’s management company, which they said provided the city with an inaccurate report that all residents were safe.
The Times reports, officials said they did not want to unnecessarily send firefighters into a building deemed in danger of collapse. “The building was considered unstable and we weren’t missing anybody,” Dean explained.
Officials at Edgewood Management, based in Gaithersburg, Maryland, reportedly did not return calls for comment.
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