The City of Vinton and local businesses continue to deal with the aftermath of the fire that started during the evening of February 8, 2018.

The fire was reported in the Michael & Dowd Furniture store and subsequently spread to the Clingman Pharmacy and Fischer Law Firm before being brought under control.

Fires in the basements of Michael & Dowd’s and Clingman’s were unable to be completely extinguished at the time due to the large amount of material that had previously collapsed into those basements from the roof and upper floors. That material prevented water streams from adequately reaching areas that subsequently continued to burn and create significant smoke.

Following an inspection by a structural engineer on Friday, February 9th, the City of Vinton demolished the remaining exterior walls of Michael & Dowd Furniture and Clingman Pharmacy. This was done due to the instability of those walls and the danger they presented unless taken down immediately.

Power was restored to surrounding businesses on the evening of February 9th. Some of those businesses suffered smoke damage and they are currently conducting clean-up operations.

On Sunday, February 11th, the Vinton Fire Department was finally able to suppress most of the remaining basement fires while working closely with the demolition contractor and heavy equipment.

The City of Vinton anticipates re-opening streets surrounding the fire scene on Monday, February 12th following additional clean-up of the area and the erection of barriers around the effected structures.

The public is asked to respect barricades and fencing and avoid crossing those lines for their own safety.

The investigation into the cause of the fire is still ongoing and had been hampered by the condition of
the fire scene and the persistent fires under the debris pile.