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WATCH: Marines run to the scene of large senior center fire in Washington, D.C.

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by Anna-Lysa Gayle/ABC7

WASHINGTON (ABC7) — Thick black smoke could be seen from miles away at the Arthur Capper Senior Public Housing building on Wednesday as dozens of emergency responders rushed in to rescue senior citizens in the four-story building.

Firefighters started responding around 3:20 p.m., according to DC Mayor Muriel Bowser.

Marines at a barracks near the senior living home that caught fire ran toward the scene to help rescue residents.

At least four people were transported to the hospital.

Several residents say they did not hear the smoke alarms.

Dana Thomas says her 91-year-old grandmother was unaware there was a fire until she called her to let her know.

“It’s really scary. it really a loud alarm and it goes off for nothing and it did not go off now,” said Thomas.

Bowser says that part of the investigation is ongoing.

“Once the fire is put down… and it is safe for the fire marshals to enter,” said Bowser.

Some are also wondering about the sprinkler system.

“My understanding is that the fire started on the roof…however like I (said) it’s still under investigation,” said DC Fire Chief Milton Douglas.

Councilman Charles Allen says there were 162 affordable units within the building, which is privately owned.

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