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Raw video above from WTTG-TV/FOX 5 of yesterday evening’s four-alarm fire at Frager’s Hardware at 1115 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE in Washington, DC. Details and news coverage of the fire in this landmark building on Capitol Hill are below, but here’s the story that won’t be on the news. The washed-up newsman who runs this blog was in Southwest Washington, dressed in his tuxedo, driving to the annual Radio & TV Congressional Correspondents’ Dinner with his wife when they saw a lot of smoke in the distance before the alarm was dispatched. Despite knowing there was a hell of a building fire about 25 blocks away, he continued on to the original destination in the name of marital harmony. One person your blogmaster knew would be ditching the party in a heartbeat is a veteran of a well known cable news network who is among the world’s most famous fire buffs. Wrong. Totally out of character, he too passed up a four-alarm fire just around the corner. What is the world coming to?
Thankfully the only newsman left is my old friend Mitchell Miller of WTOP Radio. Mitchell, also dressed in his tuxedo, saw the smoke while exiting Metro. Did he go straight to the party? No. He rented a bike off the street and pedaled his way there, shooting the video below. At least there’s one real newsman left in your Nation’s Capital.
The fire broke out at Frager’s Hardware on Pennsylvania Avenue SE in Capitol Hill Wednesday evening. The store, which was established in 1920, is a popular spot for presidents and is often an area to stage political events.
John Weintraub, one of the owners of Frager’s, says the fire started in a lumber area on the 11th Street side of the store.
Thick smoke could be seen from Arlington National Cemetery, Nationals Park, Logan Circle, and even Tenleytown.
The D.C. government is recommending that residents of Capitol Hill, Lincoln Park, Hill East, and Near Southeast neighborhoods who are near the fire stay inside their homes. They say to turn on the air conditioning on, and keep windows closed to reduce the danger from prolonged exposure to the smoke.
A fire broke out at the historic Frager’s Hardware store in Capitol Hill Wednesday evening.
More than 200 firefighters and 50 fire trucks were dispatched to the scene of the four-alarm fire in the 1100 block of Pennsylvania Avenue. The fire broke out at around 6 p.m.
Fire officials say two D.C. firefighters were transported to the hospital after sustaining minor injuries battling the blaze. There are no report of any civilian injuries.
Picture from Alertpage.
The main building was evacuated. Firefighters say other buildings were in danger of catching fire.
The smoke from the fire was so large that it could be seen for miles in the District.
For residents who live nearby, D.C. Fire and EMS Deputy Fire Chief John Donnelly says, “The advice we’re giving people is to go back into their house, keep the windows shut, turn your air conditioning on. That’s the best protection you can take from the smoke.”
Frager’s Hardware was opened in 1920 and is located 11 blocks away from the U.S. Capitol.
“Frager’s has been an institution,” said D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray. “I don’t think there’s anybody who has been in this city for more than a year who doesn’t know about Frager’s Hardware. If you wanted a particular hardware item, you would go to Frager’s and get it because you know you could find it. I’ve been there many times myself.”
Also on STATter911 …
- Raw video: Historic Seaford, DE hardware store burns. Owners are volunteers who fought the fire. – November 14, 2012
- Your DC update: Chief Ellerbe gets rid of another dep. chief in charge of apparatus maintenance. Council member reacts to paramedic’s letter. – September 5, 2013
- Pre-arrival video: Collapse caught on camera at Detroit hardware store fire. – September 8, 2013
- Raw video: Two-alarm convenience store fire in Girardville, PA – November 29, 2012
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