A 74-year-old man has been pulled from the rubble, five days after a fire at a senior living center in Navy Yard, DC officials say.
The man appears to be uninjured and remains hospitalized for observation. They found him sitting on a couch.
He told the Washington Post in a telephone interview from the hospital, "I wasn't scared". "I thought they forgot about me. I could see several fire truck ladders in the air spraying water to prevent hot spots from flaring up".
During a press conference at 10 p.m. on September 19, the day of the fire, Mayor Bowser asserted that everyone in the building had been accounted for, as reported by DCist. So we just kept going.
Officials said they did not want to unnecessarily send firefighters into a building deemed in danger of collapse.
She said he had been "accounted for" at the time of the evacuation.
CNN has reached out to building management for comment. When structural crews came knocking on doors, the gentleman answered. "They told us every person was accounted for, but for whatever reason, they didn't count everybody".
"We got to this one door and I couldn't open it".
According to the Mayor, the area is now safe for fire marshals, investigators and utility workers to get in and do work.
Mayor Muriel Bowser said: "The resident was found by crews hired by the building owners to evaluate the safety of the structure". Dogs will assist with that search.
Firefighters, police officers, bystanders and Marines from a nearby base worked for hours to get seniors safely out of the building. He said the man heard them as they were at his door and called out. He was in good spirits and wanted to walk out on his own, Kilsheimer told reporters.
Holton said from the hospital that he is "doing all right" and that he had his medication and bottled water during the ordeal.
" I wish I had an explanation, but I don't", Davis said. His phone had died.
DC Fire and EMS Chief Gregory Dean said Monday firefighters wouldn't face disciplinary action if they missed an apartment or two during their initial search of the building. Dean described that as a "quick walk-through".
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Instead, residents were alerted by US Marines and neighbours who banged on their doors.
Kilsheimer said the fire department is using canines to check each building unit again.
Structural engineer Allyn Kilsheimer was one of the people who found the man. Fire crews are also going back to re-search the building at 900 Fifth St. SE.
Looking for a quality used fire truck? "Today, they acknowledged that they had not laid eyes on him, personally, although they had the other people who they checked off on their list".
Bowser implored residents of the building, both those staying in city-provided housing and those staying with relatives, to get in touch with city officials "so we know exactly where you are".