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4 dead in "very suspicious" Wash., D.C. house fire

WASHINGTON -- Four people were killed in what police are calling a "very suspicious" fire in an upscale Washington, D.C. neighborhood.

CBS DC says that the fire was reported about 1:30 p.m. Thursday, in a neighborhood of multi-million-dollar homes. There were no obvious signs of forced entry to the home, said Police Chief Cathy Lanier, but added that it is very early in the evidence-gathering stage.

"The nature and origin of the fire is very suspicious," Lanier said. She did not explain what made the blaze suspicious.

Muriel Bowser said the victims include three adults and a child. They have not yet been identified.

A spokesman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said the agency is assisting in investigating the fire.

Neighbor Joe Carregal said he was walking his dog when he smelled smoke and went to check out what was happening down the block from where he lives.

"It was all smoke and then boom, it went to fire, coming from the second floor," he said. A man started knocking on the door but no one answered, Carregal said. Firefighters arrived shortly after and had to break down the door. They used two ladder trucks to get to the roof.

"We saw three people come out on stretchers," Carregal told CBS DC, adding that medics were performing CPR, trying to revive the victims.

The residents of the house are a family of five including two parents, a boy and two older girls, neighbors said. Carregal said the girls were away at boarding school most of the time.

Lanier said a 2008 blue Porsche with Washington tags DK2418 was seen at the home about 10:30 a.m. Thursday. The car was found later, Lanier said, but nobody was with it. Police are asking anyone who saw the car to contact them.