Frager’s rebounds from fire, plans re-opening

Firefighters work to put out a fire inside Frager\'s Hardware store Wednesday night. The four-alarm fire pulled more than 200 firefighters to the Pennsylvania Avenue store and took about three hours to get under control. (WTOP/Thomas Warren)

WASHINGTON — Frager’s Hardware won’t be held down by a four alarm fire, at least not for long.

The Capitol Hill institution was destroyed by fire Wednesday night. By Sunday it could be welcoming customers to a temporary (and limited) location just a few blocks away.

One employee describes the new location as a “pop up shop.” Initially, it will offer plants from the garden center.

Perhaps more importantly, Frager’s staff looks forward to seeing regular customers, who are still in disbelief that the historic store burned.

The short-term home for Frager’s is a concrete slab across from Eastern Market, just east of 7th Street Southeast.

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, who has pledged to help the store reopen, and Frager’s owner John Weintraub plan to make the announcement about the temporary location Sunday afternoon.

Depending on the weather, Frager’s hopes to be open in the temporary location this weekend.

It’s not clear how long and how often it will operate across from Eastern Market.

Frager’s Hardware, on Pennsylvania Avenue, opened in 1920 and has remained in business for 93 years. The fire left the store a charred skeleton and damaged two neighboring buildings.

The four-alarm fire remains under investigation by the D.C. fire department with assistance from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The intense blaze broke out around dinnertime Wednesday and filled the Capitol Hill neighborhood with a choking smoke. It took more than 200 firefighters and three hours to get the blaze under control.

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