Separate blazes gutted a Fairfax County dry cleaning shop and caused the partial evacuation of a 17-story apartment building in Alexandria early yesterday, according to fire investigators.
Fairfax County fire and rescue spokesman Stephanie Hoover said a smouldering fire that started in electrical wiring resulted in $150,000 in damage to equipment and clothing at Foster's Dry Cleaner's at 8524 Richmond Highway at about 1:12 a.m.
The fire soon spread to an adjacent laundromat, which sustained minor spoke damage, before engine companies from Woodlawn, Mount Vernon, Penn Daw, and Baileys Crossroads could contain the blaze.
Two firemen, 19-year-old Jerry Smith and Tracey I. Richmond, 29, received minor injuries combatting the fire.
The second blaze, of undetermined origin, began about 3:30 a.m. in a second floor storage area of the Landover House apartments and spread smoke throughout the buildings 17 floors, said Alexandria fire investigator Everett Ailstock.
Ailstock said smoke traveled through air ducts and up elevator shafts to reach the top floors of the apartments, but damage which totaled an estimated $20,000, was largely confined to the storage area.
Many Landover House residents, who said they have grown weary of a number of false fire alarms, ignored the smoke and did not leave the building.
Ailstock said the cause of the fire is under investigation.