It took over 30 firefighters and three hours to bring a fire that erupted at the Ivy Farms Shopping Center in Newport News under control. The call came in for heavy smoke at 3:59 a.m. and when firefighters arrived four minutes later, flames had already broken through the roof. Firefighters went inside the structure upon arrival to make an aggressive attack on the fire, but trusses had already shown signs of buckling and a defensive attack had to be taken.
The fire had already ravaged the Ivy Farms Billiards and Restaurant and moved next door to the China Buffet in this small strip mall. Firefighters worked with an aerial and tower truck to dump water on the blaze as well as 5" hoses and hand lines while going to the business on the other side to keep the fire from crawling through the rafters. A van parked just 10 to 15 feet behind the engulfed structure was saved and the fire was kept from spreading to nearby apartments and houses located just feet away.
Damages to the business are estimated to be approximately $750,000. No firefighters or civilians were injured in the fire.