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BREAKING: Building Catches Fire on Columbia Pike

by Ethan Rothstein May 12, 2015 at 10:30 am 8,480 0

(Updated at 11:40 a.m.) A two-story building on the 2700 block of Columbia Pike caught fire at about 10:00 a.m. Tuesday.

The building, the headquarters of High Sierra Pools and former location of Ski Chalet, was safely evacuated, according to scanner traffic and company employees on the scene. Forty minutes after the fire was first reported, firefighters have contained it. Smoke stopped coming out of the building at around 10:40 a.m.

Fire and rescue crews from Fairfax and Alexandria joined the Arlington County Fire Department to battle the flames. The Pike is shut down from S. Walter Reed Drive to Barton Street to accommodate the large response, and ACFD Capt. David Santini expects it to be shut down past noon.

Santini said High Sierra Pools employees smelled smoke and called 911 at 10:05 a.m. When fire crews arrived, they found the fire had originated in the space between the roof and the second floor ceiling.

“We called a second alarm because of the intense work needed to gain access to the roof,” Santini said. “There were heavy fire conditions and we had to tear up several sections to gain ventilation.”

So far, Santini said there’s no estimate on the damage to the building, and inspectors are conducting an investigation to determine the fire’s cause.

The building’s exterior, from the street, looks largely unaffected by the fire, save for a few scorch marks on the roof.

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