Case Closed: Electrical Problem Caused Eastern Market Fire

Fire was not arson

By Jackie Bensen and Kelvin Robinson
|  Thursday, May 27, 2010  |  Updated 1:00 AM EDT
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Electrical Problem Caused Eastern Market Fire

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The fire that completely destroyed D.C.'s historic Eastern Market and kept it closed for two years was not arson.

"The case of the Eastern Market fire is finally closed, and it's going to go in the books officially as an electrically caused fire," said D.C. Fire Chief Dennis Rubin.

According to the final report, the 2007 blaze started with an electrical wire that was damaged by heat from a motor trash compactor.

Earlier reports suggested the fire was intentionally set. There was even speculation it was related to a series of Dumpster fires in the area. But according to the report, the Dumpsters were burned on the outside, not the inside. Boxes outside the Dumpsters fueled the massive blaze.

Eastern Market reopened last year after a $22 million renovation.

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