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Vinton fire investigation continues as last of flames are stifled Sunday

Michael & Dowd Furniture and Appliances, at 102 E. Fourth St. in downtown Vinton continues to smolder on the morning Friday, February 9, 2018 following a fire that started on Thursday evening. Attache businesses Clingman Pharmacy and the Fischer Law Firm also caught fire. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
Michael & Dowd Furniture and Appliances, at 102 E. Fourth St. in downtown Vinton continues to smolder on the morning Friday, February 9, 2018 following a fire that started on Thursday evening. Attache businesses Clingman Pharmacy and the Fischer Law Firm also caught fire. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)

An investigation into the cause of a Thursday night fire that destroyed three downtown Vinton businesses continues as the Vinton Fire Department extinguishes final remaining flames on Sunday.

The fire was first reported Thursday evening at Michael & Dowd Furniture and Appliances, 102 E. Fourth St. and spread to the Clingman Pharmacy and Fischer Law Firm before being brought under control, according to a news release from the Vinton Police Department.

The release stated that fires in the basements of Michael & Dowd’s and Clingman’s were unable to be completely extinguished immediately, due to the large amount of material that had previously collapsed from the roof and upper floors. That material prevented water streams from adequately reaching the basement fires, which continued to burn and create significant smoke.

The City of Vinton demolished the remaining exterior walls of Michael & Dowd Furniture and Clingman Pharmacy due to the instability of those walls and the danger they presented. On Sunday the Vinton Fire Department was able to suppress most of the remaining basement fires while working closely with the demolition contractor and heavy equipment, according to the release.

Power was restored to surrounding businesses on Friday, some of which suffered smoke damage.

The City of Vinton anticipates re-opening streets surrounding the fire scene on Monday following additional clean-up of the area and the erection of barriers around the effected structures, the release stated.

The investigation into the cause of the fire is still ongoing.

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