WYTHE COUNTY, Va. – UPDATE
The fire is contained. A section of the old outlet mall is destroyed.
A state trooper first spotted the fire around 6 a.m. and called it in. Seven fire departments responded.
No one was hurt.
Once the hot spots are under control, crews will be able to investigate what caused the fire.
"The job that they do here is phenomenal. They've been able to minimize the damage to the property and at the same time they've been able to keep people safe so we certainly want to say thank you to them," said Jeremy Farley, interim PIO for Wythe County.
Authorities say that the building is sometimes used by the homeless population.
The former outlet mall opened in 1988. Its last stores closed about six years ago.
"It's a gut wrenching site whenever you see something like this because there is such an emotional attachment to it," said Farley.
Virginia State Police is handling the investigation.
An abandoned outlet mall in Wythe County is on fire.
It's the old Factory Merchants Outlet Mall in Fort Chiswell, which is off of I-81 by mile marker 81.
The fire was first called in at 6:12 a.m.
Crews are on the scene trying to get the fire under control.
The outlet mall closed several years ago.
There is an increased fire risk for our area Friday.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.