Virginia Dental Association begins cleanup

By Ryan Nobles - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Less than 24 hours after lightning caught a Henrico office building on fire -- crews began tearing it down so it could be rebuilt. The building on Staples Mill Road was home to the Virginia Dental Association. It is a total loss after last night's fire, but the physical structure was the least of the organization's concern.

As the walls of the Virginia Dental Association building on Staples Mill Road came crumbling down, the organizations executive director, Doctor Terry Dickinson carefully went through what was left. Dickinson and his staff are hoping to be able to salvage at least a little of the thousands of dollars in dental equipment used to treat needy patients across the commonwealth. It wasn't an easy job.

"You've got to pull each one of those out and dry them because if you leave that moisture in there pretty quick it'll get rust in there, and you might as well throw them away," Dickinson said.

Meanwhile Dickinson's professional colleagues have stepped in to offer support like temporary office space.

"I am just overwhelmed with generosity from the community," said Dickinson.

But while computer networks and office equipment are easily replaced, some other things are not. Doctor Dickinson wooden tooth model in his office was a source of pride he spotted it high about the building when firefighters hoisted him up with a bucket truck. While the tooth was saved what was never in danger was the organization's mission. A mission represented in their banner which is back up and proudly on display.

"I found this [the banner], on the ground floor. It was pretty dirty but that's really what we are all about," said Dickinson.

And one of the many groups offering to help is the Virginia Medical Society, which is the temporary spot the VDA will stay while their offices are rebuilt.

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