Traffic restrictions continue in Vinton after fire that destroyed apartments, businesses

Published: Jul. 2, 2022 at 4:51 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 2, 2022 at 7:08 PM EDT
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VINTON, Va. (WDBJ) - The tearing down of at least one building destroyed by fire in Vinton Saturday is underway, with assessments needed to determine the fates of adjoining buildings. Meanwhile, the public is being asked to avoid downtown Vinton until further notice as the demolition continues.

Anyone traveling near downtown Vinton through Sunday is asked to note road closures, and is encouraged to plan routes to avoid South Pollard Street and East Lee Avenue as first responders and equipment operators continue to secure and work to clean up the site, according to the Town of Vinton.

Roanoke County Fire & Rescue was called just before 2 a.m. about a fire at DR Music Center, an instrument store at the intersection of Pollard Street and Lee Avenue, involving two commercial buildings with apartments above. Roanoke City Fire-EMS also responded.

Fire crews say they believe the fire started in 101 E. Lee Avenue, the building that contained DR Music.

The music store and an adjoining Edward Jones Investment office are total losses, as are the apartments, according to Brian Clingenpeel, community outreach coordinator with Roanoke County Fire & Rescue. The nearby Rustic Creations store also sustained smoke damage.

Fire crews planned to be at the scene most of the day to finish extinguishing the fire, and a county building inspector checked surrounding buildings to make sure they are structurally sound.

At least three cats were killed. No other injuries have been reported, but eight people from the apartments are displaced and getting help from the American Red Cross.

There is no word yet regarding a cause, and Clingenpeel says causes are difficult to determine when there is damage as severe as in this case.

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