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Report: DC didn’t properly handle illegal housing complaint

November 4, 2019 GMT

WASHINGTON (AP) — An independent investigation has determined that a Washington, D.C., regulatory agency didn’t properly handle a complaint about an illegal rooming house that later caught fire, killing two people.

The Washington Post reports the investigation by an outside consulting firm hired by the District was made public Friday. The overcrowded row house caught fire in August, killing 9-year-old Yafet Solomon and 40-year-old Fitsum Kebede. Authorities have said the house contained a deadly mixture of broken smoke detectors, narrow halls and barred exits.

The investigation says authorities conducted only cursory property checks, didn’t follow up with the police officer who made the complaint and ended their inquiry without appropriate approval or documentation. District Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Kevin Donahue says the report shows nine “critical” moments when authorities failed to act.

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Information from: The Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com