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DC mayor wants probe into fatal fire at unlicensed rental

August 22, 2019

WASHINGTON (AP) — The mayor of Washington, D.C., has asked federal prosecutors and the local attorney general to launch criminal investigations into a fatal fire at an unlicensed rental property.

News outlets report the Wednesday announcement by Mayor Muriel E. Bowser came hours after a 9-year-old boy injured in the Sunday morning fire was removed from life support and died. A 40-year-old man died the day of the blaze.

The overcrowded row house was mostly filled with Ethiopian immigrants working to send money to their families. The tenants told regulatory officials that the building was partitioned into a dozen tiny rooms, some no larger than a queen-sized mattress.

Authorities have said the house contained a deadly mixture of broken smoke detectors, narrow halls and barred exits, among other issues.

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