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Marines say they "had to act" to save senior citizens from D.C. fire

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jnelsoninjax    14,136

WASHINGTON — A quick-moving fire in the nation's capital could have turned tragic Wednesday afternoon, when flames raced through a building home to more than 100 senior citizens.

But when the smoke went up, Marines came running.

"These are our neighbors. They needed help. We had to act," said Capt. Trey Gregory.

The fire was about 200 yards from their small outpost in downtown Washington, D.C. When they got there, a construction worker told them all they needed to know.

"He yelled to us, 'There's more people in there,' and that's when the Marines decided we need to go get them," said Cpl. Magdaleno Arroyo.

"I don't think there was really any thought to it. We were just saying we had to get these people out of here before anything serious happens and just the instincts kicked in to go," said Gunnery Sgt. Matthew Cale.

There were firefighters there, of course, and residents of the neighborhood as well. But it's safe to say the Marines were the youngest and fittest, which mattered because some of the residents were trapped on the fourth floor.

"It was a pretty bad fire, especially on the top floor. Some paralyzed immobile people in there," said Gregory. "We actually just picked people up as best we possibly could and then had the wheelchairs at the exit and then put them right into the wheelchair."

All 190 residents got out alive, with only six sent to the hospital. Marines have a saying: "No better friend, no worse enemy."  In this firefight, they proved to be the best of friends.

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DocM    16,845

My late Father-in-Law was a Marine

 

475974229_Marinesalute-480.thumb.jpg.20d74d446105a605f326ac611cbed3ef.jpg

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DConnell    6,585

Heroes in the truest sense.

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PGHammer    1,731
On 9/23/2018 at 2:13 AM, DocM said:

My late Father-in-Law was a Marine

 

475974229_Marinesalute-480.thumb.jpg.20d74d446105a605f326ac611cbed3ef.jpg

Hats off to Eighth and I, SE (Marine Barracks)!  I used to walk past it on my way to work at the Navy Yard (the Half Street/Navy Yard subway station had not opened at the time - which meant you either took the bus from the Eastern Market subway station or you walked it).  Among the residents of Eighth and I is "the President's Own" - the United States Marine Corps Band.  (Do a YouTube search on the Marine Corps Band - and prepare to get blown away.)  At the FOOT of Eighth Street SE is the Marine Corps entrance to the Navy Yard; guarded by United States Marines.  (This is the entrance to "Flag Row" - home to the three-star and four-star admirals of the United States Navy - including - naturally - the Chief of Naval Operations; hence the Marines.)  Civilians (which I was) don't (and can't) use this entrance - even is they work on the Yard (which I not only did - but worked in NDW Headquarters); I had to walk a block down to Ninth and M, SE.

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