For more than two months, the debris field from a Feb. 25 fire on Alexandria's Broadway has stood silent.
On Tuesday, May 12, heavy machinery from Ferguson Brothers Excavating began scooping up bricks, hunks of metal, splintered wood and other debris from the site and started ripping apart what remained of the buildings.
The fire destroyed four historic buildings and wiped out six businesses on the corner of 5th Avenue and Broadway in downtown Alexandria. It also displaced nearly two dozen residents from their apartments located above the businesses.
Before the fire, the four buildings had a combined assessed value, land and buildings, of $1,223,900, according to the city assessor. After the fire, the only value is the land, estimated at $311,200.
All the activity at the site on Tuesday caught the attention of a few passing motorists and people walking downtown. Some stopped and watched as a backhoe claw tore into the building that once housed the Achieve Wellness chiropractic clinic.
"One step at a time," said an onlooker.