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Home to dozens of Va. antique dealers for generations destroyed by fire

Alexandria home to dozens of antique dealers for generations destroyed by fire. (Tom Roussey/ABC7)

They streamed into the parking lot of the Mount Vernon Antique Center to stop and to say goodbye to an old friend.

Danny Merenda says, “It is truly a sad loss to the community.”

Merenda first came to this business when he was only four years old. He says anyone who lived or worked in this part of Fairfax County off Route 1 for last couple generations knew about this beloved business: a relic lost the night prior to a towering fire.

“I didn’t know until I drove by and I was just stunned," says Merenda.

Christmas night flames engulfed and destroyed a business home to around 30 antique dealers including Janet Moffitt.

“There were lots of treasures in this building and it had been here for decades," says Moffitt.

Moffitt owns AntiquesWorth. She enjoyed selling furniture and art. Now those one-of-a-kind items are buried in a shell of a building beyond repair.

Moffitt says, “Sad, sad, I’ve been shook up all day long.”

Moffitt and others are quick to point out for all that was lost here no one was hurt.

“Pretty horrific. Just very glad I wasn’t in the building," says Moffitt.

Arson investigators return Wednesday to what’s left of this institution. The damage here so widespread they’re still sifting through the rubble to determine the cause of this fire.

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