Major fire in downtown Virginia causes serious damage

[anvplayer video=”5042362″ station=”998130″]

The smoke could be seen miles away, as the fierce flames attacked a building in downtown Virginia.

Crews were called out around 11am to the 300 block of Chestnut Street.

Business leaders told a WDIO News crew on the scene that it appeared the fire started in an apartment on the second floor of the building at 316 Chestnut Street, which is between Rocks the Jewelers and Pep’s Bake Shop. The Rocks the Jewelers building and 316 Chestnut are owned by city councilor Julianne Paulsen and her family.

Leaders said everyone got out safely, but there is a lot of grief and sadness right now. People are already asking how they can help.

Paulsen said that she’s glad no one was hurt, but she was feeling overwhelmed by it all. Still, friends like fellow city councilor Maija Biondich were on hand. "We are going to take care of them. We have a great community that will rally around them," Biondich said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.