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UPDATE (3): Restaurant Fire on Columbia Pike

by ARLnow.com October 16, 2012 at 2:15 pm 7,424 59 Comments

Updated at 3:10 p.m. — Columbia Pike has reopened to traffic, according to scanner reports.

(Updated at 2:45 p.m.) Columbia Pike has been shut down between Walter Reed Drive and S. Courthouse Road as a result of a working fire at a restaurant.

Firefighters arrived on scene at 2520 Columbia Pike around 2:10 p.m., for a fire in the kitchen of the Top’s China takeout restaurant. As of 2:45 p.m., the fire was extinguished and firefighters were checking for remaining hot spots, according to ACFD spokesman Capt. Gregg Karl.

The numerous shops in the strip shopping center in which Top’s is located have been evacuated, Karl said.

Photos courtesy @taylorcarson, @cmags44, @kochimom

  • James Moron

    Hopefully, they can dispatch the new ACFD Firefighting Streetcar

    • Cathy

      Where’s the “like” button?

    • drax

      Predictable comment = one FREDTERP deduction.

      • Charles

        Next time, can they burn down the new, hideous Giant?

        • SHLady

          the one that’s impossible to find?

        • jenn

          you mean the beautiful new grocery store? wtf is your problem?!

          • K

            How is the Giant hideous? It is glorious!

            Also, how the heck is it impossible to find? There is a gigantic sign on the side of the building?

  • nom de guerre

    Streetcar would be stopped dead in its tracks-both directions. Buses would be able to detour around.

    • bb

      Yeah, but the better question is what would a “Chinese Fire Drill” look like when done around a stopped streetcar…

    • FedUp

      Good point. Sorry about the fire, though. Hope nobody got hurt.

    • VC


    • Affordable housing

      Due to the street car, the gentrified owners wouldn’t let a fire happen. Fires are soooo affordable housing.

      • Norm

        So true. It would be a Green Turtle by now or something. Much better fire protection equipment would be in place.

        • Josh S

          This comment is a bit discombobulating for those of us who still associate the Green Turtle with a hippie bus to Mendocino.

          • Norm

            They are a chain of restaurants around here. You should get out more.

    • right of center

      Not necessarily since I’m sure it’ll be blocked by the luxury sedan that flipped over because of a bicyclist who didn’t feel like riding on the bike path and had their blinking white and red lights clipped in reverse

      • troy bilkington


  • Ugh

    Your comments are unnecessary and unfunny.

  • AV resident

    It is on the back side of the pike not on the actual pike. Fire
    Trucks on S Barton. Would not stop any streetcars if there were any. They should rename Mani Thai, Mani Chinese because that is what it taste like.

    • Allan

      The fact that the County has closed Columbia Pike to traffic would not stop the streetcars? They must be magic streetcars.

      • Elle K

        But, of course they are!

      • DCBuff

        For what we’re going to pay…

      • AVer

        Maybe they would let only the streetcars through. Were you against the construction of the metro because sometimes it would be stopped? At least with a streetcar, the passengers can get off if there is service is disrupted.

    • Trish

      You must not have seen all the fire equipment sitting in the righthand eastbound lane of the Pike, huh? Or the police car blocking both eastbound lanes at Walter Reed and the policemen redirecting traffic at Walter Reed? I stood at the bus stop at the Pike and Walter Reed for more than twenty minutes today, and the blocked lanes would most certainly have prevented a streetcar.

  • You’re Right

    Streetcar would be shutdown. A bus bridge would be established to detour service around the incident. The “Bendy” Bus option would probably also be shut down due to the narrow side streets. News Flash: Incidents, such as accidents and fires, would disrupt service.

    • Josh S


  • malaka

    I like the Zhangcha duck

  • JohnB

    Someone needs to get Robert Irvine in there to explain why they need to clean their vent hoods regularly.

    • Garden City


  • S. Arlington

    too many of you have an 8 yr old since of humor. . . trying desperately to be ‘liked’ by the class. grasping for attention by using what may have been funny months ago. you must be north arlington federal contractors with nothing better to do

    • FrenchyB

      Agreed. I feel bad for the owners of Tops China (very nice people) and all the other businesses that are impacted there.

      • Joan

        Didn’t they just change ownership a couple of months ago? All new people working there, then a new “expanded” menu? I used to go there once or twice a week; but, after a few visits with the new people, I haven’t been there in about a month.

        • FrenchyB

          Now that you mention it, I think it did change hands.

          • G Clifford Prout (now moderated for extra purity)

            As a regular I was looking to see if anything was actually better on the menu. Only once since the new folks.

        • 5555624

          Yeah, but they were hush-hush about it. I went in right after it changed hands and was told everyone was on vacation. The next week I asked if it had changed hands and was told “No.” While waiting for my order, I watched them have problems taking phone orders. I thought things had slipped, so I have not been back.

    • Neighbor

      It’s the same 4 or 5 people. Not nearly as clever as they think they are.

    • Jackie J

      Sometimes I’ll read the comments just to see which asshat makes the first streetcar comment. It’s a fun game!

      • betterMeme

        the burnt out folks should go and stay in the Artisphere

    • “since”less comment

      if you don’t like comments you should move to Bethesda

      • Jackie J

        If you don’t like punctuation you should move to Bethesda.

        • Beth Esda

          Prissie Pricks Punctuate Perfectly.

        • Hypocritical Much?

          If you don’t know when to use a comma, you shouldn’t use a dependent clause.

      • S. Arlington

        hilarious! you are so much funnier than these other trolls

        • Beth Esda

          And you are much less self important!

  • Ren

    I like Top’s! I hope everyone is ok there. Ditto for the new immigrant-run businesses in that plaza.

  • BlueSkies

    Feeling thankful for the quick work of ACFD!

  • MC 703


    • TheBeermonger

      Thank you! I need an LA Bar update. Sean, where are you?

      • FrenchyB

        The LA is fine – all businesses (except Tops China) are open again.

  • mvp

    to bad the whole biulding didnt burn down so we could rebuild with something nicer like across the street.

    • BlueSkies

      Yes, because what we really need are more new, generic-looking buildings instead of interesting historic ones.

      • mvp

        agree we need more high end looking biuldings and property values will go up

      • Josh S


        That place is a dump. “Interesting?” I guess. Historic? If, by historic, you mean “old,” then, again, I guess.

        I’m not saying Penrose Square is all that exciting, but defending the LA Bar complex as “interesting” and “historic” is a stretch. Tired and long past its “prime” is more like it.

  • southie

    Man, I miss when Tippy’s used to be in that group of stores.

    • Tippy

      +1. Way better than District Taco and all the new yuppy burrito places.

  • Tabby_TwoTone

    For some reason, I was thinking “Mrs. Chen’s” and wondering why the heavy smoke photo was taken on S. Barton.

  • AL

    Ironically, I just had a takeout menu placed on my front door from Top’s China today…

  • LPS4DL

    Bypass switches will reroute the trolleys. See “Railroading 101” for further information.

    • nom de guerre

      First of all this is a streetcar, not a railroad. I suggest you get out your Lionel train set and assemble two parallel tracks that come together at each terminus with a switch that allows the streetcar to move to the other track to go in the opposite direction. Then explain to us how the streetcar can be “rerouted” to get around a road closure, a water main break, etc.


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