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Virginia Construction Fire Ruled Accidental

Fairfax County, Va., fire investigators say improperly discarded smoking materials caused a massive construction fire that caused more than $48 million in damage at an incomplete mixed-use complex in Alexandria on February 8.

The fire, which investigators ruled as accidental, began in a second the second-floor trash chute of the project’s five-story residential building, which has been under construction for about one year. Construction workers evacuated the site after unsuccessful attempts to extinguish the blaze, which quickly spread to the top floor. Driven by high winds, the flames engulfed the project’s five main buildings and 14 townhouses, none of which had been fitted with sprinkler systems.

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