Fire destroys VDOT storage building in Chesterfield

Published: Nov. 23, 2013 at 5:37 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 26, 2013 at 5:21 PM EST
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CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Crews are investigating a 2-alarm fire in Chesterfield that destroyed a building on VDOT property.

VDOT tells us around 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Chesterfield and Colonial Heights fire departments responded to a fire on the Virginia Department of Transportation's Richmond District complex located in the 2400 block of Pine Forest Drive in Chesterfield.

State Police and fire officials are investigating the cause of the fire.

All that is left after a fire ripped through the storage building in Chesterfield early Saturday is charred remains of several road utility vehicles, highway signs and administrative documents.

"When we arrived on scene about half of the building was already engulfed in flames and about half of the roof had already collapsed at that point," Lieutenant Jason Elmore said.

Elmore said fire crews from Chesterfield and Colonial Heights worked for more than an hour to put out the flames at the VDOT complex.

"We were able to stop it for doing further damage to the rest of the building but in total it looks like three quarters of the building had collapsed," Elmore said.

Sabrina Bogan lives less than a mile from the complex. unlike many other who saw plumes of smoke from a distance. She had front row seat from her back yard.

"It was black, it was a lot of smoke back out over there behind my house," Bogan said.

Several people on the scene say they saw the fire while near downtown Richmond. Despite several concerns from people living in the area officials say the fumes from the fire do not appear to harmful.

"This smoke was able to get into the air and dissipate fairly quickly so we don't expect there to be any issues in the surrounding community," Bogan said.

There were no VDOT employees on site prior to the fire and there were no injuries.

District Administrator, Tom Hawthorne,  released this statement, "We don't expect this to hinder our ability to maintain roads or respond to weather events." "Once we've assessed the damage, we will begin rebuilding the structure and recovering losses."

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