Smoky Four-Alarmer Hits Landmark D.C. Hardware Store

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Thursday morning, the owners of Frager's Hardware Store in D.C. are thanking the public for their support and well wishes.

A four-alarm fire gutted the D.C. landmark on Wednesday. Frager's has stood on Pennsylvania Avenue in the Capitol Hill neighborhood for 93 years.

Many people were out at the scene on Thursday morning remembering Frager's and taking some pictures, including Kirsten.

"Not only am I neighbor and I shop there constantly, I'm also part-time employee. So... I work in the lawn and garden [section] which seems to have survived the fire," said Kirsten.

She told us about a community effort after the fire. "So you know the community is trying to rally around and ... figure out what -- what we can all do for Frager's to make sure it comes back."

It would be a similar effort to the effort at Eastern Market.

"Absolutely. With Eastern Market a couple of years ago. Absolutely. But it's just devastating. Every second you think of something 'oh my gosh, where am I going to get xyz,' you know? All sorts of things that we rely on Frager's to supply to us or sell us. That -- we have no idea where to go -- where to go get them while they're shut down. The fire is just devastating the community," said Kirsten.

Firefighters from all over the District were called out to battle one of the worst blazes we have seen in D.C. for a long time. Beneath the fierce flames and plumes of black smoke lay a neighborhood landmark left barely recognizable. Heavy black smoke could be seen from Nationals Park. A couple of firefighters were injured but no one was seriously injured. None of the employees were hurt.

"They all got out that were there working at the time," said Kirsten.

For the people who live in the Capitol Hill area, Kirsten told us, "It's just a community center, you know? It happens to be a store."

Wednesday night, a D.C. resident seemed to share the same sentiment. The resident said, "If many other things went away in Capitol hill we would be less sad than if we lost Frager's."

The Capitol Hill Community Foundation website shows that the organization has set up a special fund to help in the aftermath of the fire. Donations can be made

Partial road closures remain in the area on Thursday morning. Some firefighters are also there ensuring the fire is completely out.


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