Fire ripped through a Northwest beauty parlor this afternoon, causing severe damage to a commercial building and jamming heavily traveled Wisconsin Ave. for three hours during the evening rush hour.
Units responded at 4:11 PM for the building fire, 3923 Wisconsin Ave., NW. Engines 20 and 31 and Truck 12 first on the scene reported heavy fire coming from the rear and side of the two-story building. Battalion Fire Chief Timothy Gerhart declared a working fire.
As units took their positions, Chief Gerhart realized more resources were necessary to contain the massive blaze. A second alarm was sounded as firefighters continued their attack, and Deputy Fire Chief Doug Smith took command.
The bulk of the fire was knocked down within 20 minutes, and the fire was completely contained within 50 minutes. One firefighter suffered a minor back injury.
The fire destroyed the first-floor nail salon, which was closed at the time. It caused considerable damage to a second floor dance studio and a barbershop next door. The cause of the fire is under investigation.