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Radio traffic (above) from this (Wednesday) morning’s two-alarm fire at the headquarters building for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) at 600 5th Street in Northwest Washington, DC. WMATA runs the Metro subway and bus systems in the DC area. The Jackson Graham Building (named after Metro’s first general manager who had been a Major General of the Army Corps of Engineers) was completed in 1971 and sits across F street from the quarters of DC Fire & EMS Department’s Engine 2 & Rescue Squad 1 (see image below).
As you will hear on the audio, Engine 2 and Truck 4 were dispatched at 6:16 a.m. for an automatic fire alarm. Engine 2 went on the scene a few minutes later with smoke showing from the top floor as dispatchers relayed there were additional reports of a fire in the building. The box alarm assignment was filled out, followed later by a working fire dispatch and second alarm.
WMATA is scheduled to move its headquarters to L’Enfant Plaza by 2022. One of the reasons for the move is the inadequate fire protection and other safety systems in the Jackson Graham Building. Most of the building is not sprinklered. News coverage here.
There was a considerable volume of fire when #DCsBravest arrived at Metro Headquarters. Despite these conditions in an 8 story square block building, fire was extinguished in a relatively short time. pic.twitter.com/Fda5ltocBG
— DC Fire and EMS #StayHomeDC (@dcfireems) May 27, 2020