A four-alarm fire broke out tonight at Frager’s Hardware, the beloved Capitol Hill institution. Firefighters were still trying to put the blaze out more than two hours after it started.
Owner John Weintraub told people on the scene that the store’s staff had all gotten out safely. But the D.C. government warned residents via the city’s emergency alert email feed that the smoke from the fire—visible as far away from the Hill as Hyattsville, according to a Washington City Paper staffer attending an event there—could be hazardous:
Residents of the Near Southeast, Lincoln Park, Hill East and Capitol Hill neighborhoods should stay indoors with air conditioning on but windows closed, as prolonged exposure to unfiltered smoke could be hazardous. Residents of other parts of the city should try to avoid these neighborhoods for the rest of tonight (as well as overnight).
Extinguishing the fire could take hours longer, according to the firefighters union:
Units making progress on 4 alarm #caphilldc unfortunately going to be an all night operation
— DC Fire Fighters L36 (@IAFF36) June 6, 2013
Frager’s is only the latest Capitol Hill fixture to suffer a catastrophic fire, after Eastern Market and the Tune Inn; both eventually reopened. Check back with City Paper tomorrow for more details.
Photo by Alex Block