VINTON, Va. (WFXR) — Several days after a massive fire broke out in downtown Vinton, damaging several buildings, officials announced that lane closures will continue in the area for at least another week amid cleanup efforts.
The Roanoke County Fire and Rescue Department says the blaze — which started shortly before 2 a.m. on Saturday, July 2 at the intersection of E. Lee Avenue and S. Pollard Street — resulted in an estimated $1.5 million in damages to 101 E. Lee Avenue, 103 E. Lee Avenue, 107 E. Lee Avenue, and 206 and 208 S. Pollard Street.
In addition, the fire not only displaced eight adults and multiple pets from four apartments, but it also killed three cats, the department says.
According to the Town of Vinton, the northbound lane of S. Pollard Street and the eastbound lane of E. Lee Avenue near 101 E. Lee Avenue will remain closed through Thursday, July 14 at the earliest.
“The road closures are necessary allow for equipment and crews to continue structural assessments of adjacent buildings and to provide an adequate and safe perimeter around the remaining structures should additional material fall on to the sidewalk and street,” the town government wrote on Facebook on Thursday, July 7.
The owners of the buildings are reportedly working with various Vinton and Roanoke County staff, as well as their insurance providers, to sort out the next steps for debris removal and cleanup efforts at the site of the fire.
Once workers start getting rid of the debris, officials warn that additional lane closures may be necessary.
Meanwhile, detours will be in place to divert traffic around the lane closures via Jackson Avenue and Maple Street, according to the town.
“Citizens and commuters are asked to plan accordingly,” Vinton’s Facebook post stated. “The Town of Vinton and the owners of the structures appreciate everyone’s kindness and patience as we work through this tragic incident.”