Massive blaze injures four firefighters


A six-alarm fire on Alexandria’s West End on Labor Day left four firefighters with minor injuries, authorities say.

The fire, which began in a 800 block S. Pickett St. warehouse this morning, was contained about 4:25 p.m., said Fire Marshal Robert Rodriguez. First responders reported heavy smoke and flames but were forced to retreat after a partial roof collapse. The building was closed for the holiday.

About 200 area firefighters battled the blaze. Alexandria received help from nearby Fairfax and Arlington counties as well as Prince George’s County and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. The injured include two airport authority firefighters and a firefighter each from Alexandria and Fairfax County.

A broken water main in the area initially hindered firefighters, but first responders were able to tap into other water supplies.

Though the blaze is contained and crews are being released from the scene, officials said firefighters will monitor the situation overnight. Many hotspots remain, which means an investigation into the fire’s cause will have to wait for the time being, Rodriguez said.

Authorities carefully monitored the smoke and reported it let off no hazardous gases. Still, the odor is irritating and Rodriguez recommended nearby residents close their windows and turn on air-conditioning units.