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6-alarm fire contained in Alexandria

Monday - 9/2/2013, 5:46pm  ET

smoke400.jpg
Smoke can be seen coming from the Alexandria fire (WTOP/Meera Pal)
  • Gallery: (6 images)

WASHINGTON -- Firefighters have contained a six-alarm blaze at an Alexandria warehouse that shut down portions of Van Dorn Street for several hours on Monday.

The fire broke out midday Monday at the three-story building along South Pickett Street and it took firefighters four hours to contain the blaze. Dark smoke could be seen for miles.

Chief Fire Marshal Robert Rodriguez says no one was inside the building when the fire broke out and one firefighter was taken to an area hospital with a minor medical condition. He says the roof collapsed, but firefighters inside the building at the time were able to escape.

All lanes of Van Dorn Street reopened around 5:45 p.m. Monday.

Firefighters say the warehouse is a construction and recycling company, and James Seamands, who recycles items there, tells WTOP he showed up on Monday with a load of items to recycle.

"I opened up to unload, I turned around, and you could see the fire climbing up the wall," Seamands said.

Seamands said he grabbed three fire extinguishers and tried to put out the flames himself.

"By the time I got the fourth one it was too late. I called the fire department," he said.

The fire was about a block away from a water main break at the intersection of South Pickett and South Van Dorn streets.

Rodriguez says at first, the water main break gave firefighters some trouble, but they found a way to work around it.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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