At approximately 2:15 am, Shenandoah Fire Co. was toned out for a structure fire at 404 1st Street just a block and a half away from the station.
Responding information received from the ECC advised possible entrapment. Mutual aid station Elkton Vol. Fire Co. was also on initial alarm.
E-702 was first on the scene with Chief 70, Lester Hensley taking command.
The fire had already fully involved the 2-story structure, which housed a sign business on the lower floor and an apartment upstairs.
On arrival, a victim was found across the street from the initial fire building. The victim had jumped from the second story. Chief immediately called for truck-80 from neighboring McGayhesville and additional engines from the Stanley and Luray Vol. Fire Companies.
The downtown area has a bad water system supply and the first hydrant that E-702 connected to was dry.
A third alarm was sounded, bringing Engines 55 and 203 from the Weyers Cave and Grottoes Vo.l Fire Companies, which are 25-30 minutes away. Their duty was to lay dual five inch supply lines over 1500 feet to the Shenandoah River to supply the apparatus on the scene.
A fourth alarm was sounded right behind the third, bringing paid crews from E-26 and Tower 1 from the city of Harrisonburg which is over 22 miles away.
A fifth alarm was sounded bringing in water tankers from Luray, Staney and Elkton Fire Companies.
Luray responded with 2 tankers. A water supply dump and run was set up in the parking lot of the police station on 2nd Street, directly overlooking the fire scene.
Tower 1 was also set up in the parking lot. Lt. Greg Seal was the water supply officer and AC-70 Ian Rudolph assisted the chief with command duties. Lt. Timmy Kite was overseeing accountability and rehab. All of the buildings that burned were within a historic district and had just had the facades renovated. The blaze did hunderds of thousands of dollars in damage.
The blaze also destroyed 2 vehicles parked across the street from the structures and and started several mulch fires.
About 75 firefighters from 10 companies fought the blaze for five hours before bringing it under control.
The fire destroyed half a city block.
All of the buildings destroyed were over 100 years old.
Five other people had to be evacuated from the apartment complex, and other structures in the area were evacuated as well.