Frager's Fire Likely Caused by Cigarette Butt

A fire that burned down a neighborhood's long-time hardware store was reportedly caused by a discarded cigarette butt.

The ATF confirmed late Friday that the most likely cause of the blaze was "the careless discard of smoking material."

More than 100 firefighters responded to Frager's hardware store on Pennsylvania Avenue SE June 5 during rush hour.

The fire was contained later that evening, but had left the store a total loss. News4 spoke with Frager's co-owner Ed Copenhaver who credited one of his employees with evacuating the building as the fire spread.

"One of our employees was smart enough to go walk into the basement and walk through and make sure everybody was out before he left the building," Copenhaver said. "We had smart enough people to check the building before they ran out to make sure everybody got out. I've got to give them all credit. It’s a great crew. We have been fortunate to have good people and it showed today."

No one was injured in the blaze, and owners say they are planning to rebuild.


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