By EMMA COLEMAN The Roanoke Times
A downtown Vinton music store that was badly damaged in a fire early Saturday has been demolished.
The Roanoke County Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the cause of the fire, which caused $500,000 in damage to the music store.
Three cats died in the fire, which affected several buildings, some of which included residential apartments. No residents were injured, but eight were moved and are being assisted by the American Red Cross.
The total damage estimate for all affected buildings is $1.5 million, Brian Clingenpeel, community outreach coordinator for the Roanoke County Fire and Rescue Department, said in an email Sunday.
Shortly before 2 a.m. Saturday, crews from the Roanoke County Fire and Rescue Department responded to a commercial structure fire at the intersection of East Lee Avenue and South Pollard Street.
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The fire originated at DR Music at 101 E. Lee Ave. The roof of the building collapsed and crews feared the rest of the building would also fall.
“It had to be torn down for safety reasons,” Clingenpeel said.
Downtown streets were closed as crews remained at the scene, and demolition took place late Saturday afternoon.
The city of Vinton said in a Facebook post around 8:55 p.m. that several downtown streets would be blocked to allow clean-up activities to continue.
The City of Vinton expressed both gratitude and condolences in a second facebook post at 11:15 p.m. Saturday.
“We are extremely grateful to our first responders, public works crews, police officers, office of the fire marshal, office of the building commissioner, local utility workers, demonstration contractor employees, area business owners and our citizens who responded today when tragedy struck our city, “the Publish said.
“We are grateful that no injuries were sustained by responders or occupants of the affected buildings. We are sad to hear that several pets have been lost and extend our condolences to the pet owners.
The Vinton Chamber of Commerce said it was collecting donations for the displaced.