Wendy's Restaurant, 299 S. Van Dorn St., in Alexandria's west end, was consumed by a two alarm fire in the early morning of July 19, according to Alexandria Fire Department. Numerous calls to 911 at approximately 6:15 a.m. reported heavy black smoke coming from the single story building, Jane Malik, Fire Department public information officer, reported.
"The first units on the scene confirmed these reports and also reported extensive fire inside the restaurant," she said. It was contained in approximately 90 minutes but was not fully extinguished for about three hours, according to Malik.
"We know the fire started in the ceiling. But, the cause is still under investigation," said Alexandria Chief Fire Marshal Robert Rodriguez. "It has been determined that it was accidental," he said.
Damage has been estimated at $750,000 to the structure and $85,000 to contents. One firefighter was taken to Inova Alexandria Hospital after experiencing chest pains. He was released that afternoon after a determination that they were caused by muscle cramps, according to Malik. There were no other reported injuries since the restaurant was closed when the fire broke out.
"We are definitely planning to rebuild and reopen. But, we don't have any time frame at this point. It may take as long as nine to 12 months," said Arif Islam, district manager, Wendy's Restaurants.
The actual reconstruction is estimated to take three to four months. However, there is also the time it takes for insurance matters and to obtain the necessary construction permits, according to a corporate spokesperson.