Firefighters shut down major roads in the Alexandria section of Fairfax County Saturday morning as a five-alarm fire raged through a building that has been under construction, Fairfax firefighters said.
After more than four hours, the blaze was contained Saturday afternoon, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue said. Firefighters will remain on the scene through the night to continue to knock down hot spots and make sure the fire doesn't rekindle.
The entire neighborhood lost power, which wasn't restored until late Saturday.
The five-story condo and townhouse development is unfinished, so the building lacks firewalls and sprinkler systems, allowing the blaze to spread rapidly and intensely, the Arlington County Fire Department said.
Two other buildings also caught fire, and a neighbor said his home sustained heat damage and he is staying with relatives.
Firefighters from Alexandria, Arlington, Fort Belvoir and Prince George’s County assisted Fairfax County.
Windy conditions made it difficult for firefighters to put out all the flames.
“We had some challenges on this fire incident such as the wind … and limited access and limited water,” Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Chief John Butler said.
Embers set off small fires when the landed on the ground.
One firefighter and one civilian were transported to hospitals for check-ups, but their injuries are considered minor, Fairfax Fire says.
It's unclear how the fire started.
The response shut down roads near the 2800 block of Poag Street in Alexandria, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue said. Part of N. Kings Highway is closed. Route 1 (Richmond Highway) was closed between Beacon Hill Road and Huntington Avenue but has reopened.
The City of Alexandria said it may take "some time" to put the fire out.
Here’s video: pic.twitter.com/Mpkjqmo4HP— Sarah Lee (@S_Lee2020) February 8, 2020
Smoke from the blaze could be seen for miles around Virginia and D.C. It was also visible on weather radar, the National Weather Service said.
Photos: 4-Alarm Fire in Alexandria Closes Route 1, Firefighters Say
Officials pleaded with the public on Twitter to stay home and not visit the scene.
"Firefighters need to focus on the fire, and not you," the Virginia Department of Transportation office in Arlington said on Twitter.
Stay with News4 for more on this developing story.