Thursday, November 01, 2012

WP: Fire Hits Florida Market

Down the street from where the fire occurred 

The Washington Post has details on the Florida Avenue Market fire that we discussed last night. The fire appears to have originated in W & W Wholesale, and spread to neighboring vendors El Dorado (seafood), and Mexican Fruit. According to the Washington Post, the fire burned for more than two hours, and caused some pretty serious damage. There were no injuries reported (the fire occurred after business hours). Let's hope for the best for all the vendors and their employees.


I stopped by the location earlier this morning and things look pretty bad. You can smell the smoke for blocks.  They had an entire portion of the Market taped off while they investigate. I'm also told that they shut down electricity to that block. It makes today an especially rough day not only for the vendors and property owners that suffered damage in this fire, but also for other vendors who lose one more day of sales in an already shortened week.
Screen Shot 2012-11-01 at 9.51.05 AM
The fire occurred at 4th and Morse


Andrew said...

This is cynical, but I've got to wonder how many of the buildings in the market are even remotely in compliance with the fire code.

Thom202 said...

It was hard to get a good look with the police tape and fire inspector milling about but it seemed the brunt of it hit the place next door to Mexican fruits. Granted inside could be a whole other story.

Anonymous said...

Is this the new renovated part?

inked said...

No. This is to the west of the Union Market building.

Anonymous said...

I hope they have insurance.

4th and G said...


Code issues are tricky given all of the overlapping rules re: historical, date of last renovation, purpose of business, expected occupancy load, etc. Compliance at the time of the fire can take a lot of billable hours to figure out.

Chris said...

After Litteri, Mexican Fruit was my favorite vendor in the entire area. Blah.

Anonymous said...

I would be happy to put money down on a lifetime supply of rosa de Jamaica (hibiscus), watermelons and tamarind pods if it would help Mexican Fruit stay in business.

reflexive said...

i apologize for my cynicism, but my first thought was this was no accident. we see what happened to the capitol city market. whats in store for this whole area?

inked said...

DCJaded & reflexive,
I don't know what caused this fire, but I will point out that there was a fire at W & W Wholesale in March. My guess is that this was an electrical fire.

I know! I love Mexican fruit. The staff has always been very nice to me. When I went in there an hour before closing the other night they were cleaning, and moving stuff around. They had put away some stock, but offered to get me anything they had already put away if I needed it. Prior to learning of the fire I had planned to stop in for garlic and limes on my way to work this morning.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know the owners of Mexican Fruit? Any way to contact them? Would like to find out if there's a way to help. A kick-starter perhaps?

Andrew said...

Yeah. To further elaborate my previous comment:

I'd like to see the businesses stay. However, the old buildings in the market have proven to be incredibly flammable over the past year. 3 major fires in 12 months should be raising some eyebrows, and DCRA should be inspecting the buildings *before* they burn down.

Code compliance can be tricky, but I have to imagine that DC has a very strong interest in keeping these buildings inspected, considering that most of the businesses handle food.