Investigation into massive fire at apartment home for seniors just beginning

WASHINGTON D.C. -- Monetary donations meant to aid victims of Wednesday's massive apartment fire in Southeast DC will be handled by the Capitol Hill Community Foundation.

The announcement was made today as nearly 160 seniors living in the Arthur Capper apartments made arrangements with the American Red Cross for temporary shelter. Red Cross is also helping seniors replace their medications and other essentials since many of the residents lost everything in the fire.

Meanwhile, firefighters are just beginning to look into what caused the fire. It took nearly 22 hours before it was officially called out by firefighters.

Investigators are checking the integrity of the building before going in and assessing where the fire started and how it spread.

No one was reported injured in the fire though we're still awaiting final word from fire fighters from a thorough check of the building.

DC Fire and EMS leaders said they are also aware that there was a failure of the building-wide fire alarm system because they got numerous reports of victims trying to pull the alarm with no success. The fire chief said investigators will work with the property owner to determine what went wrong but added that smoke alarms in individual rooms worked properly.

Many people were concerned about why sprinklers never went off. The chief said it's because the fire burned on the top floor and not the lower floors where those sensors would have been triggered.

For more information about how to help victims follow this link to the Capitol Hill Community Foundation.