Fire that destroyed two buildings in Big Stone Gap torn down - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Fire that destroyed two buildings in Big Stone Gap torn down

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BIG STONE GAP, VA (WJHL) -

An abandoned building that went up in flames Friday night is no longer standing.

The fire started around 10 P.M. at the corner building of East 5th Street and Wood Avenue in Big Stone Gap. Within minutes one of the largest buildings in Big Stone became an inferno. Hours later crews were still on scene.

Four Virginia fire departments battled flames of an abandoned apartment building.

"The integrity of the structure wasn't safe enough for us to be inside, so we pulled all of our guys out and just started an exterior attack," said Big Stone Gap Assistant Fire Chief Dan Gibson.

Emergency crews fought the fire for more than 13 hours.

"They saved several buildings adjacent to these two buildings that we're going to lose," said Big Stone Gap Town Manager Pat Murphy.

Saturday afternoon demolition crews came out and tore down the apartment building and one next door with severe water damage.

"Where the building collapsed, they are basically going to come in and just sift through that, as they sift threw it we're just going to spray it and just put what's remaining of the fire out," said Gibson.

For the town of Big Stone Gap this puts a damper on their revitalization project.

"We really want to work to get this buildings rebuilt if possible," said Murphy.

Both buildings that are now gone at the hands of the fire were part of the project.

"The problem is coming back to have the money and rebuild and that's what we need to try and do here so you have infield and rather than just vacant lots," said Murphy.

Town officials will be getting together next week to begin future plans at the corner of East 5th Street and Wood Avenue.

East 5th Street from Clint Avenue to Shoney Avenue and Wood Avenue from East 4th Street to East 6th Street will be closed until further notice.

Firefighters say there was electricity in the building.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by Big Stone Gap Police Department.

Copyright 2013 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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