United States Marines are trained to respond to almost any conceivable emergency, which proved critical in the moments after a senior center caught fire near a Washington D.C.-area military post this week.
According to the Washington Examiner, service members were among the first to respond to the emergency on Wednesday afternoon.
The official Facebook page for the Marines Barracks at 8th and I streets posted an update on the fire shortly after it had been extinguished.
“Reacting to chaos,” the post began.
According to Milton Douglas, the district’s acting fire chief, four people were transported to the hospital for injury treatment, but none were believed to be life-threatening.
“We aren’t sure how the fire started at Arthur Capper Senior Building in Navy Yard,” Councilman Charles Allen said, according to the Washington Examiner. “Firefighters needed to rescue a few residents via window from higher floors.”
He said that while he was at the scene, he worked to talk skeptical residents into leaving the facility.
Witnesses reported that some individuals did not initially believe there was a real fire because they did not hear alarms or see the sprinkler system engage.
In its Facebook post, the barracks added some more context to the initial response.
“This afternoon when a fire broke out at an apartment complex for the elderly in Southeast D.C., Barracks Marines immediately responded to assist local fire departments,” the post read.
“Marines rushed into the building to rescue those who needed assistance and evacuated residents to the Marine Barracks Washington Annex where they were checked and treated for any injuries and sheltered until their loved ones arrived.”
Some witnesses filmed the Marines’ response and shared it on social media.
Marines from 8 and I running towards the fire raging in SE DC. pic.twitter.com/4vSKsuyTGo
— Lyndsey Medsker (@lmedsker) September 19, 2018
Their actions earned widespread accolades, including from the commandant of the Marine Corps.
“Proving again, ‘no better friend’…well done, Marines,” Gen. Robert Neller wrote.
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