2-Alarm Fire Causes $1.5 Million in Damage to S. Washington Building

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News-Press photo

A two-alarm fire caused an estimated $1.5 million in damage to an office building on South Washington Street in the City of Falls Church on Friday afternoon.

Officials say the building, located at 150 S. Washington Street behind the Ireland’s Four Provinces and directly across from the historic Falls Church, was occupied by approximately 80 people at the time the fire broke out. All escaped the building without injury. The City of F.C. Fire Marshal has ruled the fire accidental and has temporarily condemned the building. A cause has yet to be determined. The ATF-Falls Church field office assisted in the investigation and the F.C. Volunteer Fire Department assisted with overhaul. The building has been turned over to building management, who will secure the site.

More than a dozen fire vehicles and ambulances were on the scene at 150  South Washington St. around 1 p.m. Friday when fire was seen coming from the building’s second floor and heavy, black smoke was pouring out of a window facing W. Broad St. Onlookers had gathered on the upper deck of the George Mason Square parking garage and were told to step off of the upper deck by a police officer as a security precaution.

The fire was extinguished by firefighters from both Arlington and Fairfax County.

Police closed down South Washington Street between Broad Street and Annandale Road. Annandale Road was also closed between Washington and Maple Avenue. The streets are now back open for traffic.

Arlington Co. Fire says the fire was contained to 2nd floor with smoke on all five floors.

The City of F.C. released the following statement:

At approximately 1 p.m. today, Friday, March 21, a two-alarm fire broke out in an office building in the 100 block of S. Washington Street. While the fire has been extinguished, S. Washington Street is closed to traffic between Annandale Road and Broad Street.

The fire was quickly extinguished by firefighters from both Arlington and Fairfax County. The City of Falls Church Fire Marshal is working to determine the cause of the fire, and thanks both counties for their assistance.

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  1. Did they really need to cordon off the entire block and have that many respondents? I left the area at 2:15 and there were still eight or so firetrucks, EMT’s and, naturally for FC, a ton of police.

  2. As a resident, and tax payer, in the community, I’m grateful to our local FC and area first responders for their service.

    The general public should try not to pass judgement if they aren’t familiar with the procedures required following events such as this–particularly when an investigation must surely be required. (I’m a civilian, and common sense tells me this must add additional time at the scene.)

    How about we try to be happy no one was injured and property damage was limited to the single structure and contained?

    • Thanks, Beth. Catherine is a clearly an ignorant person.

      • I have idiot fatigue–especially for those who really don’t understand what hardship and sacrifice really are. Does Catherine put her life on the line when she goes to work every day to serve others? Highly doubtful.

        • Likewise. And someone needs to inform her of the difference between responders and respondents. Unless there’s a fire at the appellate court, there probably won’t be any respondents.

    • Arlington was there first

      • Indeed. Fortunate to have great local agencies, Arlington and Fairfax County (area first responders, as I stated in my post) with the local FC.

      • I said FC and AREA first responders if you read my comment completely and thoroughly. What’s the issue?

  3. The response to the fire took 23 minutes
    After the building alarms went off. The fire would have only been limited to the 2nd floor and not got to the third floor. Why did ‘ the FC PRESS COME BY and I interview the tenants ?
    Because they don’t advertise? The fire started from a maid service business on the second floor it could have been extinguished with the extinguisher. Obviously. No training to the people who come from the third world they used a bucket of water.

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