This is crazy. The big house at 1327 Girard Street NW, which I nicknamed the "Haunted Mansion" because of its dilapidated condition, has burned. The residents, local activists Dorothy Brizill and Gary Imhoff, weren't there at the time, which is good.
The place is just rubble now, as you can see above.
It's also too bad for the next door neighbors, the brand new condos on the right and the other place under renovation on the left. Let's hope they didn't have much damage from smoke, water or the fire itself.
The house has been a dump for years, with missing windows, rickety patio, debris in the lawn, and was nearly condemned. Later it was reported as vacant, and as you may recall, it was the inspiration for my Abandoned House Watch series. I've written about it numerous times, and named that portion of Girard the "Crappiest block in the neighborhood." They finally plugged up the broken windows, fixed the porch and cleaned the crap out of the yard, but they also had a lot of bad luck, like trees falling on their house and their car. Apparently the upper floors were uninhabitable, as they had been boarded over for some time.
Obviously it's sad for anyone to lose their home, but at the same time, this sort of thing is why there are laws about the condition you keep your house. I don't know what started the fire, but I am not terribly surprised. And again, it's good they are ok.
UPDATE: The video is back:
Photo by Pablo Maurer