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After 2 a.m. this morning, firefighters responded to a fire in the seven-story Harvard Hall apartments in Adams Morgan. The fire was reportedly contained to a single unit, in which a woman was badly burned.

While the fire’s effects were thankfully contained, other Harvard Hall residents are raising questions about the building’s safety. Several residents are reporting on an online message board that fire alarms didn’t wake them.

Wrote one on a WJLA-TV forum:

I live in the building and perhaps the scariest thing about last night is that the fire alarms throughout the building did not go off. none of them. despite the fact that the 4th, 5th and 6th floor hallways were filled with smoke people were still evacuating over an hour later (many with small children) because they were sound asleep and didn’t know that there were 8 firetrucks outside and dozens of firefighters in and around the building.

Said another:

I only woke up because we live near the stairwell and heard commotion. Very scary.

And another:

I’d also like to add that as I walked out my door into a hallway of smoke, there were no sprinklers, and Borger does not equip its rental units with fire extinguisers. I don’t know the city requirements for apartment buildings – but everywhere else I’ve lived this has not been a problem.

And another:

…we are extremely upset that the building’s “fire alarm” did nothing to wake us up, even though we live on the floor of the fire. I overheard many other residents say exactly the same thing. We shouldn’t have to rely on the good will of our neighbors in order to be aware of an emergency and avoid catastrophe.

The building is operated by Borger Management; a call to Borger this afternoon was not immediately returned.

UPDATE, 3:25 P.M.: Check out blog post from { 2 bars + 3 stars }, who commented below, for some outstanding scene:

I open the front door of our apartment. The hallway is filled with smoke but no alarm can be heard. I call 9-1-1. We quickly dress, grab our cat by the scruff of his neck, and run through the smoke to the stairwell and out the buidling. In the lobby, a badly burned woman stands in obvious shock.

UPDATE, 6:35 P.M.: Ted Loza, chief of staff to Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham, relates a conversation he had today with a Harvard Hall resident, who said fire officials were in the building today to check the alarm system; they found the system to be working properly, the tenant told him.

Still no response from Borger.

UPDATE, 1:45 P.M., 2/24: All indications, as noted in the comments below, are that the alarm was never activated by pulling a wall switch. A meeting has been scheduled this week for Harvard Hall residents, where management, Graham, Fire Chief Dennis Rubin, and DCRA chief Linda Argo will attend.