WASHINGTON – Three adults and one child were found dead in a house that caught on fire, D.C. officials say. The fire is being investigated as suspicious.
The blaze happened in the 3200 block of Woodland Drive in an affluent Northwest D.C. neighborhood nearby Washington National Cathedral.
Firefighters received the initial call for reports of smoke at around 1:30 p.m. Thursday. Dispatch information showed there were heavy fire conditions on the second floor and attic of the home. D.C. Assistant Fire Chief Craig Baker said 50 firefighters responded and it took about 30 minutes to get the fire under control.
When fire personnel went inside to battle the fire, they discovered the four victims dead at the scene, said D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.
Police have not identified the victims who were found inside the home.
“Right now, no obvious signs of forced entry, although the nature and origin of the fire is very suspicious,” said Police Chief Cathy Lanier.
A joint arson task force consisting of D.C. police, the fire department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is handling the investigation.
Chief Lanier said a blue 2008 Porsche 911 with D.C. license plate DK2418 was seen at the home at 10:30 a.m. Thursday before it left the area. Police located the vehicle by itself later in the afternoon after 5 p.m. in Maryland and are seeking information from anyone who saw the car during the time it went missing from the home.
Police canvassed the neighborhood Thursday night asking for information from residents.
The house is owned by Savvas and Amy Savopoulos and the couple has two teenage daughters and a younger son. Savvas Savopoulos is the president and CEO of American Iron Works.
“They help with the schools and they have three children, so their lives have been devoted to that,” said neighbor Coco Palomeque. “It’s a very, very sad story. They are a wonderful family that we’ve known for many years and we are all very sad to hear about this.”
“Everybody is just stunned and shocked,” said Mike Manatos, a family friend of the Savopoulos. “You never expect this to happen to anybody you know, let alone a couple that just have this giving and caring family and local community. It’s just a horrible, horrible tragedy.”
Neighbors who know the family said there are housekeepers who work at the home.
A housekeeper who has worked for the family for 20 years told FOX 5’s Marina Marraco that she was at the home on Wednesday. She said the couple, their 10-year-old son and another housekeeper slept in the home that night. The housekeeper received a text message Thursday morning from the mother and told her to not come by the house because the family was sick. When she called to respond to the text message, the phone call was not picked up.