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Dispatch communications provide first responder perspective of historic restaurant fire in Wytheville

Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 6:40 AM EDT
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WYTHEVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - The call came in just after 6 p.m. Tuesday.

“It’s in regard to a structure fire,” the dispatcher said. “I need you en route to 520 East Main Street. It’s going to be the Log House Restaurant. "

Wytheville Fire and Rescue was sent to one of the oldest properties in town. When crews arrived, flames were coming out of the restaurant.

“We’ve got the attic fully engulfed,” a first responder said over the comms line. “That second [inaudible] on the bravo side is on fire. Looks like it went in about 2 feet.”

It was originally built in the late 1700s, but the the Wytheville Fire chief, Marc Brade, said the building had several additions which made putting out the flames more challenging.

“The initial attack was done interior,” Brade said. “So we were able to put out a good amount of fire on the bottom floor, which is where we believe it had originated.”

“It’s all the way up in the attic and the attic is about to vent itself,” a voice was heard over the intercom.

“Once it got into the attic, we had a partial roof collapse,” Brade told WDBJ7. “That’s when we pulled everybody out. And we did kind of a transition attack.”

“The B Bravo personnel are out of the collapse zone,” someone said on scene. “We have themselves putting water on it now.”

Additional crews were called in to help put out the flames.

“Rural retreat, fire engine one being in route to station five to Wytheville,” the dispatcher said. “Six-oh-one, we’ll be enroute with fire engine six unit two.”

AEP was summoned.

“I need to secure electricity from family affairs all the way down,” a first responder said.

“If we can let it vent out I think we can get the fire out and stop it,” another firefighter said.

Despite the partial collapse, the chief said the building is not a total loss, which is a relief to residents who know and love the Log House Restaurant.

“It’s one of the most historic places in Wytheville,” Glenna Taylor, a resident of Wytheville, said. “It is so sad to see this happening. It is.”

The cause of the fire has not been determined. Everyone who was inside made it out and no one was hurt.

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