A fire in the basement of a Prospect Street student townhouse resulted in one fatality Sunday morning.

Law enforcement and university officials identified the victim as Daniel Rigby (MSB ’05) in a university broadcast email sent Sunday evening.

The D.C. Fire Department responded and put out the fire, which began shortly after 8:30 a.m. in the basement of 3318 Prospect St., according to DPS Director Darryl Harrison.

Harrison said that university officials were waiting for the etropolitan Police Department to release more information before he would comment further.

Approximately half of the 3300 block of Prospect Street was blocked off for six hours.

Area residents and Georgetown students sat in stunned silence on sidewalks or milled around the area crying and hugging each other.

Windows of the house where the fire started were covered by black sheeting and a red flag hung from a top story window. Black smoke stains were visible on the front of the house.

The D.C. Chief Medical Examiner’s Office removed a body from the house shortly after 1 p.m. and by 2:30 p.m. the crime scene tape had been removed and traffic was allowed through the area.

Two students who requested anonymity said the house was home to rugby players and there had been a party at the house the night before. At least three other students had been in the house at the time of the fire but they escaped safely and were taken for questioning by MPD.

Many university officials had arrived on the scene by 11 a.m. including Vice President for University Safety, Dave Morrell, Vice President for Student Affairs Todd Olson and Vice President for Public Affairs and Strategic Development Daniel Porterfield.

Olson met with a group of students from the affected area shortly after the fire Sunday in the Village C Alumni Lounge.

Porterfield told students gathered by the scene that university officials would be willing to personally visit students in the area to provide them with any support that they needed. He also said that the name of the victim of the fire would be released as soon a positive identification was made.

The Rev. Ridgeway Addison, a chaplain in residence at Alumni Square, said chaplains and counselors would be available if requested by students.

“We didn’t expect this to happen on a Sunday morning, but what is good to remember is we are all part of a community,” he told students. “I would hope you would lean on each other. Do not be afraid to lean on whoever is there.”

Victoria Rixey, president of the Citizens Association of Georgetown, expressed concern Sunday that poor housing standards could have contributed to the death.

Rixey, referring to metal bars covering many basement windows on area houses, said that there is often “no way to get out of a basement in an emergency.”

“Students should be demanding that houses are inspected,” she said. “It is terrible that in a panic situation something like this could occur.”

The fire at 3318 Prospect follows a Sept. 22 blaze at 3310 Prospect that gutted the townhouse’s basement. None were injured in that fire, which began around 8:30 a.m. as well. The home’s owner, Jeff Miller, said that an electrical short in an energy meter in the basement had caused the fire.

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