VINTON, Va. – A piece of history in Vinton is now gone after a fire early Saturday morning destroyed four apartments and a two-story music center.
A charred smell lingers on Lee Avenue as Vinton residents stare in shock and devastation.
“Heartbreak. Its heartbreaking,” Vinton Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Angie Chewning said. “Vinton is a tight community.”
Early Saturday morning, a fire engulfed a two-story music building and collapsed the roof of the Edward Jones Investment business.
Four apartments on the top floor were crushed and eight adults are now without a home.
Donnie and Rhonda, the owners of D. R. Music Center, broke out in tears as they saw what’s left of their music business after 39 years.
A $100,000 worth of instruments now destroyed.
D.R. Music Center was Tony Smith’s second home as a teenager and the spot where his son took lessons.
“Its kind of like a punch in the gut really because these people, the owners, are nice people,” Smith said. “Watch your kids grow up here.”
It’s a piece of history dated back to 1930.
The fire department says the butted multi-functional buildings will take time to clean up and will be demolished.
“This is rather unique,” Roanoke County Fire Department Brian Clingenpeel said. “Something we don’t see a lot of.”
Though a gift shop next door faced no damages, Dawn Sullivan says she feels the owners pain.
“We look out for each other and we’re a family is what I say,” Rustic Creations Owner Dawn Sullivan said. “And we all stick together and it’s a huge loss to all of us to see them go.”
Not much was salvaged from the investment building but residents were thrilled when a firefighter rescued an American flag.
A reminder that 4th of July is still around the corner.
The cause of the fire is still being investigated. There were no injuries but three cats died.
Anyone traveling near downtown Vinton Saturday evening and Sunday should note the road closures on South Pollard Street and East Lee Avenue.