Metro (WMATA)

Metro Headquarters Building Catches Fire in DC

Flames were showing from the top floor of the building housing WMATA offices

A fire broke out at the building housing Metro's headquarters in Northwest Washington, D.C., Wednesday morning, damaging a building that WMATA has wanted to move out of for years, in part due to insufficient fire safety.

Flames and black smoke came out of the eighth story but no injuries were reported and the fire was put out quickly, D.C. Fire and EMS said.

Crews responded to the two-alarm blaze in the 600 block of 5th Street NW before 6:35 a.m., firefighters said.

DC Fire and EMS said "a considerable volume of fire" was showing from the top floor of the building. Smoke continued to waft over downtown D.C. once the fire was under control.

Two alarms were sounded because the building is so large, firefighters say.

No one has been reported injured and the fire was put out in a relatively short time, firefighters say. All employees and occupants got out safely, Metro said in a statement thanking first responders.

D.C. Fire continues to search the building, ventilate smoke and help WMATA with salvage operations. Investigators are working to determine the cause of the fire.

Streets may be closed in the area, including 5th Street NW and 4th Street NW between H and E streets and 6th Street between G and E streets.

First responders were spotted throughout the downtown area, including in front of Capital One Arena.

The building housing WMATA headquarters takes up a whole city block. A fire station is across the street on F Street NW.


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Metro has been in the process of moving out of its Penn Quarter-Chinatown headquarters. Before the coronavirus pandemic, it had plans to move by 2022.

One of General Manager Paul Widefeld's major concerns was an inadequate fire suppression system, News4's Adam Tuss said. It's part of the reason Metro decided to move.

Stay with News4 for more on this developing story.

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