Update on South Roanoke Condo Fire

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See the Story at firehouse.com –


From The Roanoke Times at www.roanoke.com

Here is the story

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

None hurt in condo fire

South Roanoke blaze displaces at least seven.By Hattie Brown 981-3349The Roanoke Times e-mail this story
Photo gallery:
See photos from the rescueAudio: Hear an interview with Fire Chief Grigsby
Several South Roanoke condominiums were heavily damaged by fire Tuesday evening.
About one-third of the roof of a condominium building that is part of the Olde Georgetown of Crystal Spring complex caved in during t
he fire. The building, at the corner of 23rd and Jefferson streets, did not sustain a huge amount of structural damage but was heavily damaged by water, Roanoke Fire-EMS Chief Jim Grigsby said.
No one was injured, Grigsby said.
The two-alarm fire appeared to have started on the third floor, but a fire marshal had not had a chance as of Tuesday night to make a final determination, Grigsby said. The amount of damage was also not available Tuesday night.
The Roanoke Fire-EMS Department received the fire call at 5:17 p.m., Grigsby said. Firefighters arrived to find heavy flames and smoke coming from the roof of the three-story building. The fire was under control by 6:02 p.m.
“I’m very surprised the building is standing,” Grigsby said.
Grigsby said he did not know how many people were in the building at the time of the fire.
Because the building has plywood in the roof, firefighters had to wait several minutes before putting water on the building, Grigsby said. Firefighters feared that if they used water on the building too soon, it would worsen the fire and push it back into the building, Grigsby said.
The smoke could be seen for miles. Onlookers, many carrying cameras, gathered at the intersection while firefighters battled the blaze. Many said they were neighbors or had just happened to be walking through the neighborhood at the time of the fire.
The Red Cross was called to the scene, but only one of seven residents requested a place to stay, said Red Cross spokeswoman Amy Whittaker. Arrangements were made for the resident to stay in a hotel.
A Red Cross team will assess the damage today to determine residents’ needs, Whittaker said.
Carole Lougheed’s 89-year-old mother lives in a condominium Lougheed owns in the building. Loughheed said the building has six units. Her mother, Winnifred Dunn, had recently been released from the hospital and was staying at Lougheed’s house at the time of the fire.
Georgia Mayo, who lived on the second floor of the burned building, said she had been home about five minutes when she heard someone pounding on her door. A police officer told her to get out of the building because the attic, a storage space for several of the residents, was on fire, Mayo said. She ran out barefoot, but was able to borrow a pair of blue fuzzy slippers from someone.
Mayo, an eighth-grade teacher at Lucy Addison Middle School, said several elderly people live in the complex, including at least one person who is wheelchair-bound. Mayo will stay at her mother’s house in Salem for now.

These are the news releases from Roanoke Fire-EMS:

Roanoke Fire-EMS Responds to Jefferson Street Fire
City of RoanokeMarch 16, 2005
Roanoke, VA – The Roanoke Fire-EMS Department responded to an alarm for a structure fire on March 15, 2005 at 2229 Jefferson Street. The call was received through the 9-1-1 Center at approximately 5:19 p.m., and was quickly under control. The response of five engines, two ladder trucks, three medic units, one EMS Captain, three Battalion Chiefs, four Officers, and the Investigation Unit were involved in the second alarm fire. Upon arrival, Roanoke Fire-EMS personnel found the three-story, six-unit complex with smoke and flames showing from the roof of the structure. Four people were home at the time of the fire and were able to escape unharmed. There were no injuries to citizens or department personnel. The cause of the fire and estimated property loss are currently being evaluated. More information will be released as it becomes available.

News Release
Update to Jefferson Street Fire
City of RoanokeMarch 16, 2005
Roanoke, VA – The Roanoke Fire-EMS Department responded to an alarm for a structure fire on March 15, 2005 at 2229 Jefferson Street. The cause of this fire has been determined to be accidental in nature, due to an overheated electrical system. The estimated property loss has been determined to be in excess of $500,000.

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