Seventh Washington, D.C. Firefighter Tests Positive for COVID-19

Occupants in Saturday fire had tested positive for virus

Paul Wagner, FOX5DC, with permission

WASHINGTON (FOX5DC) – A seventh D.C. firefighter to test positive for the coronavirus were announced Sunday evening.

Earlier Sunday, D.C Fire and EMS Chief Gregory M. Dean, reported a fifth and sixth firefighter tested positive for the coronavirus.

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The firefighters are home and their conditions are improving, according to officials.

The fourth D.C. Firefighter that tested positive for the coronavirus was announced Saturday, a female assigned to Truck 16 in Southeast.

In a note sent to all members of the department Saturday night, Chief Gregory Dean said, “The Firefighter/EMT works with the first member to test positive on March 16th and has been quarantined since March 16th.” The Chief went on to say, “The member is at home and tells us she is feeling better.”

Truck 16 is in the same fire house as Engine 32 where that first member tested positive.

In a second note sent to the department Saturday night Chief Dean announced two of the four are now hospitalized with 138 Firefighters in self-quarantine.

On Friday, D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham sent a note to the Homicide Unit informing them a D.C. Police Homicide Detective had tested positive for COVID-19.

Newsham said the detective’s last day reporting for work was March 11 and he was resting and recovering at home. The Chief also said in the note the department was working to find another location for the detectives to work while the Homicide Unit was disinfected and thoroughly cleaned.

The virus and its spread has alarmed firefighters and their families and on Monday Chief Dean plans to hold a “joint video town hall” with Local 36, the Union representing firefighters.

Also on Saturday night, Firefighters were called to an apartment building in the 1300 block of W Street NW where they found a small fire in the kitchen of an apartment.

When it was extinguished two people who were inside the the apartment notified the firefighters they had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Two Way Radio traffic Fox 5 was able to listen to revealed several firefighters had been inside the apartment but told the Battalion Chief on the scene they had kept their distance from the two.

The firefighters were then told to separate themselves from the rest of the first responders who had not entered the apartment.

It is unclear what precautions were taken after that. FOX 5 has reached out to D.C. Fire and EMS for comment.

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