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BREAKING: Fire on Crystal City’s 23rd Street restaurant row

(Updated on 12/5/21) Firefighters battled a significant fire Saturday night on the 23rd Street S. restaurant row in Crystal City.

The fire was reportedly in the building that houses Andalusia Hookah Bar and Top Thai restaurant on the 500 block of 23rd Street. Those businesses are immediately adjacent to Crystal City Sports Pub and Federico Ristorante Italiano.

Firefighters from several local jurisdictions helped to finally extinguish the smoky, two-alarm blaze. The fire has caused unsafe conditions for firefighters inside the building and flames can now be seen coming from the roof, according to scanner traffic.

Smoke from the fire could be seen rising into the air throughout the Crystal City area.

The Crystal City Sports Pub was evacuated during the fire as smoke started to fill the building. But co-owner Billy Bayne said the fire department’s quick work and coordination saved his business and others on the row.

“To our knowledge there’s no major damage to the Sports Pub,” Bayne said, while noting that there may be smoke and other damage that needs to be repaired. “Thank God for the fire department and police department… they all are heroes, they did a great job.”

Shortly before midnight the Arlington County Fire Department reported that all fire had been extinguished. So far there have been no reports of significant injuries.

On Sunday afternoon, the fire department returned to the scene after a small fire flared back up.

On Sunday night, the fire department said in a press release that the fire caused nearly $1.8 million in damages. The cause of the blaze is under investigation.

Shortly after 10pm on Saturday December 4th, units were dispatched for a reported fire in a commercial building in the 500 block of 23rd St S. Units quickly arrived on scene and began working to extinguish the fire. Crews began operating in extremely challenging conditions with thick smoke causing zero visibility inside the structure, as well as obscuring views for crews operating on the exterior. A second alarm was requested to bringing nearly 30 fire apparatus and 100 firefighters to the scene.

As interior conditions deteriorated rapidly, crews were forced to evacuate the building and begin using ladder trucks to flow large volumes of water from an elevated position on the exterior. With the bulk of the fire extinguished crews were able to re-enter the structure to knock down any remaining fire. Just before midnight the fire was deemed extinguished, and crews began the long process of checking for fire extension and overhaul operations.

Fire Marshals remained on scene to conduct a cause and origin investigation. The preliminary findings from their investigation list the fire cause as undetermined, and cite damages as being nearly $1.8 million dollars.

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