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Early Morning Fire Damages Capitol Lounge, Trover

A fire broke out at Capitol Lounge early this morning, causing about $100,000 worth of damage to the popular Capitol Hill bar and the adjoining Trover Card Shop.

About 120 firefighters responded to the call at 5:15 a.m. and put the fire out within the hour, said Fire and Emergency Medical Services spokesman Alan Etter. It started in the back of Capitol Lounge at 229 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, spreading to the wooden floorboards and then to Trover. Trover’s neighboring bookstore was unharmed, Etter said. No one was hurt.

It’s the second fire to strike Capitol Lounge in two years. It suffered major damage in the early hours of Aug. 24, 2005, when a lit cigarette thrown in a wastebasket started a fire that closed the lounge for four months. This morning’s fire did not do as much harm, Etter said, but “there’s quite a bit of damage.”

Officials are investigating the cause of the fire, but Etter said there is no indication that it was set deliberately.

— Emily Yehle

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