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Alexandria Six-Alarm Fire Extinguished, Cause Still Unknown

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Crews started packing up hoses on Monday afternoon after a six-alarm warehouse fire in Alexandria was contained.
WAMU/Lauren Landau
Crews started packing up hoses on Monday afternoon after a six-alarm warehouse fire in Alexandria was contained.

Firefighters in Alexandria spent the night extinguising the last embers of yesterday's six-alarm fire in a warehouse on South Pickett Street near South Van Dorn Street.

Chief Fire Marshal Robert Rodriquez says the investigation will begin once the building is deemed safe to enter. In the meantime, he credits crews from Alexandria, Fairfax and Prince George's County, who worked together to get the fire under control.

Their efforts were complicated by a water main break in the area. The hydrant firefighters would normally use for the warehouse was out of service, and they had to use tanker trucks and other hydrants to contain the fire.

Rodriguez says the department trains for exactly that kind of situation. "We went to one of our backup plans. And we went to probably another backup plan to make it happen. And our backup plans came through," he says.

According to Rodriguez, the warehouse was closed for Labor Day, but Jeffrey Mitchelle lives in the area and watched the situation unfold.

"About 12:20 I heard boom and then another boom about two minutes after that. And it sounded like something blew up. And once it blew that's when you really saw thick black smoke come out of the roof," he says.

Two firefighters were sent to local hospitals with minor injuries, but no other injuries were reported.

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