Elderly man found alive inside apartment 5 days after massive blaze

Raymond Holton, 71, was located by crews hired to evaluate the safety of the senior apartment building after a fire forced more than 100 residents to evacuate

By EMS1 Staff

WASHINGTON — An elderly man was found alive in an apartment building five days after a massive blaze forced more than 100 residents to evacuate.

WUSA9 reported that Raymond Holton, 74, was found in “incredibly good shape” and with “a sense of humor” inside of the senior apartment building Monday morning by crews hired to evaluate the safety of the structure after a fire broke out last Wednesday.

Holton is believed to be a resident of the second floor of the building and was inside since the fire broke out. He joked about the situation when crews arrived and told them he “wasn’t going any place,” and that he wanted to walk out on his own.

Crews carried Holton, who suffered non-life-threatening injuries, out of the building as he sat on a kitchen chair. He was then transported to the hospital.

Last week, Mayor Muriel Bowser confirmed that all tenants were accounted for in a primary search. After finding Holton, Bowser said she "cannot say specifically what happened to this particular unit,” but added that Holton’s name was not on at least one of the rent roll lists from the management company.

DC Fire and EMS Chief Gregory Dean said rubble and collapsing items in the building prevented responders from conducting a secondary search.

"There is a chance that an apartment or two may have been missed as this was going on," Dean said. "Discipline is not the issue here, it's really looking at what else we need to do to accomplish what we need to accomplish."


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