UPDATE: Fire at Richmond storage facility

By Jola Szubielski - bio | email
Posted by Phil Riggan - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Clean-up continues at a Richmond self-storage facility, after a morning fire rips through nearly two-dozen units and leaving many to wonder if their personal belongings were destroyed.

Aside from property damage, two people received injuries in that fire.

The good news here is that only five of the 23 units damaged were occupied -- the rest vacant. But its been a busy morning here at the space mart storage facility with owners both calling and swinging by to check on the contents of their own storage spaces.

This is all that's left of the contents of several storage units at the space mart storage facility on Jahnke Road. And hours after firefighters were able to get the blaze under control, the clean up continues.

Fire officials say it was early this morning -- just before five when the fire started. One unit went up in flames and quickly spread to the adjoining ones. The problem for firefighers -- gaining access to the storage spaces, and then dealing with unknown materials packed in tightly together.

"We have to be cautious about what we may find in these, certainly a chance of hazardous materials, and hazardous materials that may be simple that you may have in your house but to us in a fire situation, we may be hazardous, have to take precautions," said Staff Battalion Chief David Creasy.

One woman who was at her storage unit when the fire started was taken to the hospital, her injuries minor. A firefighter was also treated for burns to his hands as he battled the blaze.

The chaos now, at the office here, as facility employees are flooded with phone calls, owners curious if their belongings were damaged.

"Managers contacting the owners of the unit, they were occupying one unit, 5 other units rented out , they're contacting them so they can come to the scene and take stock," said Creasy.

A manager at the storage facility says that if you are the owner of one of the units damaged by the fire, you've already been contacted. Otherwise, your items are safe and unharmed.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.  We'll have more on this as the day progresses.

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