Second Massive Fire Strikes Virginia Town

The town of Shenandoah, Va. has experienced another massive fire that mimics the one that occurred May 23, 2006. That blaze that destroyed three historic buildings in half a city block, injured one and left several families homeless.

On March 27, a similar incident occurred. Three more historic buildings were destroyed. There was one injury and five families were left homeless. Both fires started just after 2a .m.

All persons escaped the inferno, but a one-year-old was transported for smoke inhalation.

The former Eagle Hotel, a two-story tavern and apartment building on First Street were destroyed. Two brick structures were saved on the corner. All the buildings destroyed were about 100 years old.

First engines arrived on the scene just minutes after dispatch to find heavy fire involvement in the old hotel, and threatening the other buildings. Flames were reported to have been seen from miles away.

Chief 70, Lester Hensley assumed command of the fire and called for three alarms.

The town has inadequate water supply for such a large fire load, so dual five-inch lines were laid about a quarter mile away to the Shenandoah River to supply the water needed. Once the lines were established, the 10 fire companies fighting were able to get he fire under control around 6 a.m.

Crews from Shenandoah remained on the scene all day to extinguish hot spots, and to assist the state police investigators.Three blocks around the fire scene were closed most of the day as fire lines were laid from several hydrants.

Over 100 persons assisted with the fire including, 82 firefighters, five rescue personnel, five police officer and numerous other support personnel. The Red Cross was called in to assist the families.

The town of Shenandoah is a small in Virginia with a population less then 2,000.