Frager’s Paint Store Burns
by Larry Janezich
At about 6:40pm on Wednesday evening, a fire erupted in Frager’s Paint Store. The fire appeared to originate near the back of the store near the passageway where Frager’s had planned a glass fronted addition opening on to 11th Street. The second story above the rear of the store was quickly engulfed in flames and thick clouds of toxic smoke poured out of the fire and drifted across Pennsylvania Avenue to the north. Bystanders said they had been in the store ten minutes before, and “everything was fine.” At 6:44pm, following a radio directive, firefighters scrambled to their trucks and sounded their sirens. A police officer standing by taking photos responded to a question, saying that it was a signal to firefighters evacuate the building because “it was going to collapse.” Councilmember and mayoral candidate was on the scene but was not available for comment. Fearing an explosion, police acted to push the crowds back across 10th Street to the west.