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Strip mall fire damages several businesses

Firefighters look over the scene of a fire at Festival Cleaners at 378 Fairfax Pike in Frederick County on Saturday afternoon. The fire at the dry cleaners shop prompted evacuations of nearby stores located in the shopping center that is anchored by Food Lion. LInda Ash/Daily (Buy photo)

A firefighter goes through debris following a fire at Festival Cleaners. Linda Ash/Daily (Buy photo)

By Ryan Cornell

A fire in Frederick County damaged several businesses and led to the evacuation of a strip mall on Saturday afternoon.

Stephens City Volunteer Fire and Rescue Chief Greg Locke said the fire started in Festival Cleaners, 378 Fairfax Pike, at about 1:40 p.m.

He said the blaze caused extensive damage to Festival Cleaners and smoke damage to Liberty Tax, Pizza Hut and a Chinese restaurant neighboring the store. The entire strip mall, which includes a Food Lion grocery store, was evacuated.

Locke said an occupant of Festival Cleaners suffered minor burns and refused to be transported to a hospital.

The fire, which he said appeared to be accidental, was under control in about 10 minutes.

"They did a great job with stopping the fire," Locke said. "There were some hot spots because there were all these clothes involved that we had to separate, plus all these structures that we had to get smoke and poisonous gases out of."

Units that responded included Stephens City, Middletown, Millwood Station and Greenwood volunteer fire and rescue companies in Frederick County, Boyce Volunteer Fire Company in Clarke County and firefighters from Shawnee station in Winchester.

The cause of the fire is being investigated.

Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rcornell@nvdaily.com

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