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Fire Ruins Apartment Above Lounge 201

Just minutes after a Capitol Police officer reported smoke billowing from a third-floor residence above the popular Capitol Hill martini bar Lounge 201 today, a large fire broke out, injuring one person and gutting an apartment.

After calling in the smoke to the D.C. Fire Department at 12:26 p.m., four Capitol Police HAZMAT team members and one patrol officer rushed to the third-floor apartments and began pounding on doors to get civilians out, according to Capitol Police spokeswoman Sgt. Contricia Sellers-Ford.

The HAZMAT offices are located just across the street from Lounge 201, located at 201 Massachusetts Ave. NE.

The officers eventually helped four civilians, including one 91-year-old man who “didn’t want to leave” and one dog out of the apartment, which is just a block from the Hart Senate Office Building.

By the time various Capitol Police units had cordoned off the area and District fire personnel arrived, flames were coming out of multiple windows from the apartment.

“I’d say this was a pretty good fire, but the guys got in there and contained it pretty quickly,” said Battalion Fire Chief Royer Ridgeway.

The condition of the one individual, who was being attended by Emergency Medical Service personnel, was unknown, he said.

Five different engine companies, two truck companies, rescue squad units and the battalion chief all responded to the fire. About 30 firefighters entered the building using truck ladders and through the D Street side entrance. The firefighters quickly broke out windows and cut holes in the roof to help ventilate the fire. Ridgeway said two or three rooms of the apartment had been gutted by the flames.

“We had it out in about one or two minutes,” said Dennis Carmody, who worked a hose line with Engine Co. 2, the first unit on the scene.

By 1:15 p.m. fire personnel were already conducting an investigation as to the cause of the fire.

According to Lounge 201’s manager, Anthony Cavallo, the bar didn’t sustain any major damage except for some water that is dripping through the ceiling. Cavallo also said that the lounge’s awning was destroyed and will have to be replaced.

Cavallo said pending an OK from fire officials, the bar plans to be open this evening for two private parties and walk-in business.

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