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A 74-year-old man was found alive in the Arthur Capper Senior Public Housing this morning, five days after a fire ripped through two floors of the 162-unit Southeast D.C. housing complex, Fox 5 first reported. In the aftermath of the fire on Wednesday, Mayor Muriel Bowser told reporters in a press conference that “all tenants have been accounted for.” Apparently, they weren’t.
In a press conference today, Bowser said that the man, whose name has not been made public and was found in his second-floor apartment, is currently being treated at a nearby hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. It’s still unclear how, exactly, officials mistakenly accounted for the man on Wednesday, but Bowser said that crews had used a list of residents provided by the building’s management company, Edgewood Management, that may not have been accurate. (Arthur Capper is listed within the D.C. Housing Authority’s portfolio, but is privately managed.)
Bowser told reporters that initial list of residents “didn’t match up” with the actual residents of the building. Department of Human Services Director Laura Zeilinger indicated he may have been on another list of residents and was mistakenly accounted for, stating that no one had “laid eyes on him personally.”
It’s unclear who or how the man was discovered this morning—Bowser wouldn’t say, exactly. But Fire Chief Gregory Dean did say the man was in good spirits when he was found, apparently cracking jokes when officials discovered him. The man said “I’m not going anywhere” when officials rescuing him told him “we’re coming for you.”