House in fatal Dupont fire wasn't licensed for rent

Friends mourned one of the victims who died in the Dupont Circle house fire on Wednesday.

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- The Dupont Circle home that was heavily damaged during a fatal fire last week was not licensed to be rented out to tenants, city housing records show.

Under D.C. law, an occupancy permit and an inspection are required before rooms inside a home can be rented. Records show there was no such license for 1610 Riggs Place NW.

On June 3 at about 2:30 a.m., firefighters responded to a two-alarm at the $1.5 million house. Nina Brekelmans, 25, and Michael Patrick McLoughlin, 24, were both killed in the fire. The two of them lived in upstairs rooms in the house.

D.C. police are investigating the landlord of the house, Max Salas. Salas and his grandson both live in the house and suffered injuries during the fire.

The records regarding the house were obtained online. A spokesperson for D.C.'s Department of Consumer and Regulator Affairs denied an interview with WUSA9 and did not provide documents on the property.

Salas is a former alcohol beverage control board member who had deep political connections to former Mayor Anthony Williams and former council member Jim Graham. Salas also spent time in prison in the 90's for federal tax evasion.

Neither Salas nor his son Len Salas, who is the owner of record on the home, has responded to WUSA9's request for an interview.

The cause of the fire was deemed electrical in nature and is not considered suspicious, according to the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.


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