Crews battle 3-alarm fire in downtown Richmond
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Richmond firefighters and police battled a three-alarm fire in downtown Richmond on Thursday afternoon.
Firefighters were called to the scene at 909 E. Main St. just before 2 p.m. after crews doing renovation work to the Mutual Building saw flames on the roof.
“The building was under construction and all workers were accounted for by their staff, " Assistant Chief Todd Spruill, with Richmond Fire said.
The flames were contained to just the roof after construction debris caught fire.
Once on scene fire officials called in a second alarm followed by a third later on. Those who saw the flames say they were just praying everyone was okay.
“I see a big gulf of black smoke and we move in closer to it and I was like oh no there’s a fire baby,” Ashley Wright, who was delivering Door Dash nearby, said. “As we’re trying to move out we see a whole bunch of ambulances and firefighters come through.”
Officials say more than 70 first-responders faced challenges with getting water to the 12th floor.
“The standpipe system in the building present challenges for us to get water to the fire floor, this was on the roof so we had to stretch lines through the stairwell to get up there to have access for our water supply,” Spruill said.
Those stairs combined with 90-degree temperatures are why a third alarm was called in for backup.
“Heat is always a factor for us for this one obviously when they had to go up the stairwells and by the time they got to the top they were already fatigued, the heat played a main factor in that which is the reason why we went to the third alarm,” Spruill said.
Spruill said aid was also brought in from Henrico and Chesterfield to help run other calls in the city while RFD was on Main St.
The incident remains under investigation.
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