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Cars, furniture, memories destroyed in Salem storage facility fire

(WDBJ)
Published: Aug. 1, 2017 at 6:41 PM EDT
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Monday night at Apperson Self Storage in Salem there was chaos and smoke.

More than 50 fire fighters and first responders spent hours trying to put out a fire that flared up from building B.

By Tuesday afternoon, there were more questions than answers.

"Are you kidding me? Is this real?" Brian Reid said he was asking himself this morning. "But it's real."

Reid and his girlfriend Katrina StClair are facing the facts.

"And everything is gone now," said Reid, who was storing his belongings at Apperson in between moving.

They were shocked to see what were once treasured items - a charred mess. Some tenants lost cars and motorcycles in the fire.

"Basically just to see if there’s a chance that something would still be there,” said StClair on why she came by. “But from the way it looks it’s just devastated,"

Reid said he lost guitars, amplifiers, blankets and sheets.

They didn't have insurance on the unit.

Even still - money can't replace everything.

"Old pictures of my son and everything that I can't ever get back and never will," he said.

All afternoon - tenant after tenant swings by. Either breathing a sigh of relief or holding their breath for what's to come.

Apperson officials emailed tenants - asking for patience while they secure the property.

"It's gone and I know it's just stuff it just still hurts," StClair said through tears.

Until then - tenants can only stand back and watch.

"I ain’t gonna let it get me down I gotta stay positive” Reid said. “Stay strong stay positive and everything will work itself out."

No one was injured in the blaze but one firefighter was taken to the hospital with medical complications. That person is expected to be fine.

No one at this facility was able to speak with us on camera today. A manager for the facility named Tom Fiskus, President of Pinnacle Realty and Development, told us over the phone that they hope to be able to open us this facility to tenants within the next week.

Fiskus said tenants are not required to have insurance but that it is recommended. He said they have insurance for the building itself, but not items inside.

When asked, Fiskus said this type of situation happened once before at a facility in Richmond. Eventually they were demolish the affected building.