Surveys indicate extra Vinton buildings need to be torn down after July fire

Fire at Lee and Pollard in downtown Vinton... 7.2.22
Fire at Lee and Pollard in downtown Vinton... 7.2.22(WDBJ7)
Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 5:21 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

VINTON, Va. (WDBJ) - At least four additional buildings will need to be torn down after a fire in Vinton last summer, based on new structural surveys done by the Town of Vinton.

July 2, 2022, D.R. Music and surrounding buildings on East Lee Avenue and South Pollard Street were destroyed by an early morning fire. Since then, property owners have been working to rebuild their businesses, relocate their tenants and assess the remnants of the fire-damaged buildings. That has included structural engineers and general contractors studying the integrity of the damaged properties, and they have determined four additional buildings are a total loss and must be torn down.

Engineers also determined that due to the close proximity of the downtown structures and in some cases the existence of shared walls, they needed to review and account for how the demolition could affect two more adjacent properties on Lee and Pollard, meaning as many as seven structures will have sustained total loss or significant damages because of the fire, according to the town.

In December, the town made the decision to close an additional lane on East Lee Ave to protect pedestrians and motorists from possible falling debris from the damaged structures. It is the town’s goal to fully reopen Lee Avenue once the demolition efforts are complete and the town can ensure there is no additional public safety concern, but there is no hard timeline for completion of that project, though the town’s goal is to finish demolition within the next few weeks.

Town Manager Richard W. Peters, Jr. says, “In the meantime, on behalf of the Town Council and the affected property owners, I want to thank Vinton’s residents, adjacent downtown business owners, and visitors for your continued prayers and patience through the remaining stages of this endeavor. My staff and I will continue to update this message as additional timelines or information becomes available.”