Monday, June 16, 2014

MPD: Isherwood Fire was Intentionally Set by Decedent

Wow, MPD released some deeply disturbing news regarding the recent Isherwood fire. That explosion and blaze killed one man, multiple pets, and left dozens of people without a place to live. MPD has concluded that it was a suicide. Read the full press release below.

Update in Death/Fire Investigation: 1600 block of Isherwood Street, NE

(Washington, DC) – The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) announced today the fire that occurred in the 1600 block of Isherwood Street, NE was intentionally set by the decedent and the manner of death has been ruled a suicide.

On Wednesday June 4, 2014, at approximately 3:54 pm, personnel from the DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services (DCFEMS) received a report of an explosion and fire at an apartment building located in the 1600 block of Isherwood Street, Northeast.  Upon arrival, firefighters found an apartment building ablaze. During firefighting activities, firefighters observed a deceased person in one of the units.

The case was investigated by members of the Arson and Explosives Task Force, which includes members from MPD, DCFEMS and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

The investigation has determined that the fire was intentionally set by the decedent identified as
46 year-old Christopher Christofi of Northeast, Washington, DC. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has ruled that the decedent’s death was a suicide.

NBC 4 reports that Christofi purchased gasoline & spread it around the building.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

why should we mourn the loss of someone who intentionally caused the fire that destroyed property and killed animals.

it's fortunate that no other humans than the piece of trash that burned the place died. however, any competent human knows that fire will spread and this is a dense urban environment where other humans live.

this guy had no respect for his own life, his neighbors, his dog. the only good thing about this is that Chris is out of the gene pool.

Anonymous said...

seriously, whatever happened to jumping off of a bridge? why endanger people and animals around you? What a waste.

Anonymous said...

hmmmmm.I wonder what made them come to this conclusion. The press doesn't seem inclined to ask them how Chris managed to do this.

pat said...

Many suicides are covered homicides.

I would want to really look at this carefully.

To find for suicide, usually a psychological screen
and a set of clear actions, of this action
are needed.

If it's suicide, it's a tragic end to what appears to have been a wonderful life.

if it's homicide, find the killer.

Chris said...

Will we get to know how they determined this?

inked said...

I think we are all searching for answers at this point. The NBC 4 article cites a source/ as saying that he bought gasoline before the fire. I'm assuming they had a video of him putting it into a container, rather than into a car. I hope that we learn more soon. I too am having a really hard time wrapping my head around the fact that a man who was well liked, & loved animals, did something so horrific. I think one of the scariest things about this is that we all live in close quarters in the District. For a seemingly normal person to do something like this is deeply unsettling. It's a breech of the unwritten contract that most of us live by not to harm our neighbors. My thoughts are with everyone who suffered as a result of the explosion/fire, including Chris' family.

Anonymous said...

This seems really suspicious.

Anonymous said...

Very well said, Inked. I was struggling to come up with the correct words to express exactly what you said.

Anonymous said...

i am anonymouse!

Chris said...

inked -- thanks for your response. On one hand, I know that the people responsible for investigating stuff like this are well trained and skilled. But it's tremendously surprising for the reasons you named -- his relationships with his neighbors and with his animals, attested-to here by the folks who actually knew him -- and also because it's a particularly bizarre choice of means to suicide (outside of people trying to make political or religious statements, you don't see self-immolation all that often, as it's unbelievably agonizing). So I hope we get more of a sense of how they came to this conclusion.

Anonymous said...

you don't need to dress up in goth clothing in order to be depressed.

depression is not an uncommon feeling even among white collar professionals.

the investigation is done. case closed. play mystery conspiracy games all you want with this man. but he was a horrible person and thankfully he is out of the gene pool. and our neighborhood, city, and world is better off with scum like that gone from our world.

V+ said...

Nothing brings out the best of our community and culture quite like the ol' blog anonymous comment section.

Anonymous said...

I am going to leave a comment. And before I do, I see the following suggestion from this blog's author:

"Guys, please be polite. Remember that these people are your neighbors. Be respectful and have fun."

Well, that ain't the case here. It never has been , for the years i've been reading this blog. But hell, who cares about civility?

Of course, those of you who wrote uncivil, horrific comments, are 100% precisely the sort of 'piece of trash' and 'out of the gene pool' , 'scum', and 'horrible person' that you have dared accuse someone you never knew. And you wonder where the sectarian roots of violence in Iraq comes from. The apple doesn't fall far from the gene pool of humanity, no matter where you live.

If you were not part of the investigation, the ATF analysis team, the police investigators, his life, his job, his neighborhood, or anything else, then your conclusions are pure speculation - - and wouldn't you like your community to do that to you? Because you'd better be prepared -- its going to happen to you at some point, in this modern era, unless you live under a rock. Your parents? Your kids? Your job performance? Prepare for your day of reckoning. Don't think you haven't thought about it - - because if you don't have the highest power of resources, you will be plowed under in the public discourse, just like this fella whom we know nothing about.

How would you like your life to be investigated from the age of 10? How would you like to be excoriated for your ton of mistakes in high school, in college, your foolish days of your 20s, until your entire existence could be transformed in days into a humiliating reputation of ashes?

Don't think it could happen to you? Don't whine, your community will all be watching and laughing when you are crawling out of your hole when the Internet has transformed you into a two dimensional existence and researched every foible and misstep that you've taken since your youth.

Which underscores precisely what is wrong with our existing society (and 1950s society, and 1850's society ) when it come to speculating on what you heard in the news, and gossip, and innuendo. The first letters in "civility" and "civil rights" are "civil". If you perpetuate incivility, you will be consumed by it. The examples of panicked backtracking are littered everywhere, no matter the degree, from Eric Cantor to Paula Dean, from Donald Sterling to Tracey Morgan, from Elliot Rogers to Aileen Wournos -- the bottom line is Be Kind. Or someday you'll wind up like Roy from Sigmund and Roy.

Anonymous said...


that's got to be the dumbest rant i seen on the internet.

Anonymous said...

If there is a better argument against anonymous blog comment sections than this thread, I haven't seen it yet.

Anonymous said...

8:27. Your "mind" is very scary and very sad.

Annoyingmous said...

Anon 8:27 -- mostly dead on. I don't think the comments here were so bad back in 2006 or 2007. But now . . .this blog's comments rival WTOP's.

Anonymous said...

i would rather have some college educated smart ass blogger and on the other end of the spectrum some dumb blogger who pays attention to tiger trainers included in the gene pool than a guy who blows up apartment buildings

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:41 -- Thanks for sharing.

John said...

I've remained quiet on this story because I'm still trying to make sense of it. I knew Chris just a bit, based on two dates we went on several years ago. He seemed very well adjusted and professionally successful. He may have bought gasoline for a lawnmower. It seems like one would want evidence beyond reasonable doubt before convicting someone of suicide. If it was a suicide, then I guess he was in such a dark and lonely place that he didn't think about the broader consequences of his actions. If it wasn't suicide, then I am all that much more sorry for what his family and friends must be processing.

Anonymous said...

Suicide or not, a really sad situation. Thoughts and prayers for everyone affected.

pat said...

Suicide is an easy solution to closing a tough
criminal case. It's possible this was mis-adventure,
it's possible this was a homicide, it's possible
this was suicide.

I'd like to see a coroner's inquest on a suicide with this public an impact.

A man is dead, people have lost their homes. The public deserve a view of the evidence.