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UPDATE: Fire Gutted Building Ruled ‘Unsafe Structure’ by F.C. Building Office

img_0338The City of Falls Church building office placed a handwritten sign in the window of one of the ground floor retail spaces vacated, along with all other businesses in the two-story, 19,000 square foot, 60 year old building that was gutted by a two-alarm fire Saturday. City Hall officials confirmed to the News-Press this afternoon that the sign was placed there by Doug Fraser, the City’s chief building inspection official, and was handwritten because the computer equipment in his office was temporarily unavailable to him.

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The City of Falls Church building office placed a handwritten sign in the window of one of the ground floor retail spaces vacated, along with all other businesses in the two-story, 19,000 square foot, 60 year old building that was gutted by a two-alarm fire Saturday. City Hall officials confirmed to the News-Press this afternoon that the sign was placed there by Doug Fraser, the City’s chief building inspection official, and was handwritten because the computer equipment in his office was temporarily unavailable to him.

“It was done because there are no lights or power in the building,” explained Barbara Gordon, the City’s chief information officer, noting that it does not indicate, at least so far, that the building is permanenty closed or condemned. “There was extensive damage to the roof,” Gordon said, and all the offices on the second floor, where a travel agent, a realty and other small business were located. The Lebanese Butcher, a Nationwide Insurance office and the Annandale Cafe were among the businesses on the ground floor now closed. No business was open yesterday, although the Nationwide Insurance office had posted signs in its window in both English and Spanish indicating it had been temporarily relocated to the building next door.

No official cause of the fire was provided by City Hall or the Arlington Fire Marshal as of this writing and no injuries were reported. However, there are unofficial reports of a faulty wiring cause, and also that federal officials may come in to investigate because of some potentially suspicious findings on the second floor. 

Within moments of the first reports of the fire, the City’s Economic Development Office chief Rick Goff excused himself from a weekend meeting of the Falls Church City Council at the Henderson Middle School to go to the scene and offer his services to the business owners there about opportunities to relocate. The City’s Commissioner of the Revenue office reported that one small second-story business came to City Hall today to file papers to go out of business.

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(Photo: Colleen Haggerty)

Check out more photos of Saturday’s fire below. (All photos below: Kenny Bowen)

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News

UPDATE: Fire Gutted Building Ruled ‘Unsafe Structure’ by F.C. Building Office

img_0338The City of Falls Church building office placed a handwritten sign in the window of one of the ground floor retail spaces vacated, along with all other businesses in the two-story, 19,000 square foot, 60 year old building that was gutted by a two-alarm fire Saturday. City Hall officials confirmed to the News-Press this afternoon that the sign was placed there by Doug Fraser, the City’s chief building inspection official, and was handwritten because the computer equipment in his office was temporarily unavailable to him.

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